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Chevy Volt Owners Drive More Electric Miles Than Nissan Leaf Drivers: Why?

Is it a case of picking the right electric car for the right job? Or could a lack of “range anxiety” really lead drivers to cover more miles?

It’s a kind of chicken-or-egg question, but it came to mind when our author Matthew Klippenstein sent us some data.

Polar Charging Post and Nissan Leaf

Polar Charging Post and Nissan Leaf

On average, owners of the Nissan Leaf battery-electric car cover 629 miles a month, while those who drive the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car go 60 percent further, logging 1,012 miles.

Of those Volt miles, 75 percent are in electric mode using a battery charged from the grid, not the gasoline range extender.

(That’s higher than the 63 percent of Volt miles covered on grid energy that was reported more than a year ago.)

So even though the Volt’s electric range is rated at 38 miles, while that of the Leaf is 76 miles, Volt owners drive more electric miles a year.

The data comes from the EV Project Vehicle Summary Report (April-June 2013) issued by the U.S. Department of Energy.

We think there may be a few potential explanations.
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