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Old 07-23-2019, 11:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Jerry - '11 Chevrolet Volt
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Aero-Volt Project

Hi all. I am pretty new here but I wanted to make a thread to document my progress in making the Volt as aerodynamic as possible. I am really interested to see how far I can get my car to travel on one full battery. My car is a 2011 Volt so it has the smallest battery of the entire fleet of first generation Volts.

I have only seen a few threads dedicated to modifying the Volt so I figured I'd start one where I compile every modification I complete and provide adequate data from my trips. I already have a spreadsheet going on my google drive which I will link here. I update it every day! It is not A/B/A scientific however I think my method of collecting averages will end up being a decent enough way to tell statistical correlation between my mods and efficiency. BUT. I have never taken a stats class so correct me if I am wrong in trusting average data. I just feel it is probably the best way to control against the many variables of driving.

Link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

Current Modifications:
1. Lower air dam
2. Side skirts
3. wheel covers (these frequently get taken off and replaced... still need a better solution here)
4. Passenger mirror delete

Future Modifications: (no particular order)
1. Cameras for mirrors
2. Underbelly pan (I will shorten my air dam after this is done)
3. Air redirection from the front wheel wells
4. Make windshield wipers more aero (they are very exposed)
5. 3D print a bracket to replace the currently taped over void that is my passenger mirror mount hole.

I have definitely put way more money in to this project than I should have already however I really enjoy working on my car like all of you. I am hoping I can inspire other people with Volt's interested in eco-modding their cars and I hope to learn a lot from you folks. I feel I already have and I can't wait to learn more.

Any questions? Feel free to ask and I will answer as best I can!

My questions for you all...

1. For those with a mirror delete... how do you deal with law enforcement if you get pulled over? Do you get bothered by the cops?

2. What is the best way to make inexpensive wheel covers for alloy wheels? I've look all over and I cannot seem to find any thread that gives me any info relevant to my situation (being that my wheel covers are not flush with the wheel and I cannot figure out the best way to make them flush...)

3. What modification has made the biggest impact for YOUR car and what car do you drive?

4. How do people react when they see your car? Do you get comments from other people frequently? I always see people looking at my car in the parking lot at work and on the road. I actually kind of enjoy the stares but I have never had anyone comment...

Lastly I have attached pictures of my car, Jerry! I'm glad I joined y'all as this is the most encouraging internet community I have ever joined so far. Thanks all.

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Last edited by conor_v; 07-23-2019 at 11:57 PM..
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Old 07-24-2019, 12:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks good!

1. Check your state laws. Some require just a passenger mirror, others only require a single rearward facing mirror. As long as you're following what the law says, they can't ticket you. Rearward visibility can't be obstructed though, so you can't pull a trailer or tint your rear windows. I haven't gotten pulled over once yet despite probably dozens of police officers seeing my car.

2. On my Civic I used coroplast, attached with zip ties, painted flat black.
48"x96" sheet of Coroplast: $23. 4x15" diameter discs = $3.53 (cost by area; extra plastic was used for other projects)
Can of rattle black paint: $1.99
Pack of 100 zip ties $8.99. 4x4 per wheel = 16 zip ties = $1.44
Total cost: $6.96, and I used the paint for many things after, so let's call it $6.

3) Driving style is number one, fuel economy instrumentation is number two, and tire pressure is number three. I drive a 2006 Honda Insight but this is true for pretty much any vehicle.

4) The Insight attracts some attention due to it being a unique and small car. The Civic I owned attracted more attention because it had many more visible modifications.

What do you like best about your Volt? Cowmeat on here has owned a couple Volts, and it seems like the EV range can be extended quite far beyond stock through good hypermiling.

How is the underbody on the Volt? IIRC from what others have said, the stock underbody is already quite smooth, so you may not see much of a benefit from an air dam, which is usually a quick-fix for cars with poor underbody aero. You may see more gains from finishing the underbody than from adding an air dam.
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Old 07-24-2019, 12:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It looks like the 2011 Volt has belly pans, but no engine undertray? Is that correct?



FWIW, the 2nd generation Volt had an engine undertray, a full airdam, and separate wheel strakes:

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Old 07-24-2019, 04:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 07-24-2019, 06:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's cool to see another Volt on here, there aren't too many of us!

The G1 Volt is an amazing car and a careful driver can drive it many, many miles over the estimated 35 mile EV range.

My G1 Volt showed 50 miles estimated EV range at one time with no mods and only using the on-board instrumentation. It wasn't as easy to hypermile as my 2018 Volt (since it didn't have hold mode or the cheat paddle for regen on the steering wheel) but it was an awesome car to drive

It'll be interesting to see what you can accomplish with a couple of mods!

Here's the link to my Volt thread - I tried to document some of the stuff I learned on the fly as I navigated the ins and outs of driving it, you may find some useful info there

https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthre...tml#post524030
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Jerry - '11 Chevrolet Volt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vman455 View Post
It looks like the 2011 Volt has belly pans, but no engine undertray? Is that correct?



FWIW, the 2nd generation Volt had an engine undertray, a full airdam, and separate wheel strakes:

Yup! The mid section is pretty flat however the engine compartment could use a lot of work in the aero department! Should not be too hard to make a flat floor as there are a few bolts already built into the support beams which one could fasten a piece of coroplast. The rear is also a very odd shape but I imagine Chevy probably designed it that way on purpose. I tried messing with the rear however I had no luck as there are not really many great places to mount a board.
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpg_numbers_guy View Post
Looks good!

1. Check your state laws. Some require just a passenger mirror, others only require a single rearward facing mirror. As long as you're following what the law says, they can't ticket you. Rearward visibility can't be obstructed though, so you can't pull a trailer or tint your rear windows. I haven't gotten pulled over once yet despite probably dozens of police officers seeing my car.

2. On my Civic I used coroplast, attached with zip ties, painted flat black.
48"x96" sheet of Coroplast: $23. 4x15" diameter discs = $3.53 (cost by area; extra plastic was used for other projects)
Can of rattle black paint: $1.99
Pack of 100 zip ties $8.99. 4x4 per wheel = 16 zip ties = $1.44
Total cost: $6.96, and I used the paint for many things after, so let's call it $6.

3) Driving style is number one, fuel economy instrumentation is number two, and tire pressure is number three. I drive a 2006 Honda Insight but this is true for pretty much any vehicle.

4) The Insight attracts some attention due to it being a unique and small car. The Civic I owned attracted more attention because it had many more visible modifications.

What do you like best about your Volt? Cowmeat on here has owned a couple Volts, and it seems like the EV range can be extended quite far beyond stock through good hypermiling.

How is the underbody on the Volt? IIRC from what others have said, the stock underbody is already quite smooth, so you may not see much of a benefit from an air dam, which is usually a quick-fix for cars with poor underbody aero. You may see more gains from finishing the underbody than from adding an air dam.
I'm glad to hear that the mirror delete was not much of an issue for you regarding law enforcement. I have knowledge on the law and I know it is perfectly legal in the states in which I drive. However, just because the law is on your side does not mean that the cops will not be a pain in your butt. You always here stories of that one cop...

Maybe the zip ties will work better for me? I'm not sure though. Did you see the gap between the cover and my wheel? I tried velcroing the edges however it did not help. The wheel covers only gave me positive fuel economy when they were taped down to the wheel... which did not last very long in the sun and the heat nor at highway speeds (55 mph)... I might just give up on them for now and figure out a better solution this weekend when I have time.

I think my favorite thing about my Volt is the torque it has off the line. Sometimes when I'm not trying to save electrons I really just enjoy being the fastest car when the light turns green. It's the little bit of adrenaline I get on these spurts of action that keep me sane haha. Also not having to pay for electricity is super nice as my work pays for my charging. My commute is free!
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowmeat View Post
It's cool to see another Volt on here, there aren't too many of us!

The G1 Volt is an amazing car and a careful driver can drive it many, many miles over the estimated 35 mile EV range.

My G1 Volt showed 50 miles estimated EV range at one time with no mods and only using the on-board instrumentation. It wasn't as easy to hypermile as my 2018 Volt (since it didn't have hold mode or the cheat paddle for regen on the steering wheel) but it was an awesome car to drive

It'll be interesting to see what you can accomplish with a couple of mods!

Here's the link to my Volt thread - I tried to document some of the stuff I learned on the fly as I navigated the ins and outs of driving it, you may find some useful info there

https://ecomodder.com/forum/showthre...tml#post524030
Great to see another Volt owner! I commented on your thread and I think it is super useful even though I was only able to skim through it mostly. I have it bookmarked to read deeper later when I have more time. I want to be able to hit 50 miles like you did however I think it was more impressive to see the consistently high mileage from a majority of your trips. I am looking to see if I can regularly get over 38-40 miles on my battery. I don't think 50 is feasible due to my pack size though :/.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conor_v View Post

2. What is the best way to make inexpensive wheel covers for alloy wheels? I've look all over and I cannot seem to find any thread that gives me any info relevant to my situation (being that my wheel covers are not flush with the wheel and I cannot figure out the best way to make them flush...)
If you have the 5-spoke wheels, take a look at how I did mine in the wheel disc showcase. It looks like you have a similar groove you could take advantage of with semi-rigid tubing.
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Ruby - '18 Chevrolet Volt LT
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Quote:
I think my favorite thing about my Volt is the torque it has off the line. Sometimes when I'm not trying to save electrons I really just enjoy being the fastest car when the light turns green. It's the little bit of adrenaline I get on these spurts of action that keep me sane haha. Also not having to pay for electricity is super nice as my work pays for my charging. My commute is free!
Those are two benefits of driving an EV that most people don't realize exist.

My Volt is quick off the line! There's a lot of instant torque in an EV that you have to spool up for in an ICE. And if I need to change lanes I don't have to wait for an opening in the cars behind me, I can make my own opening between the cars up ahead. Sometimes on Friday evening I throw it in sport mode and rip it up all the way home and get it out of my system. I hypermile it all week long, but I am still human!

Charging for free at work is awesome! I haven't spent money on my commute since they start letting me charge here at work with my first Volt a couple of years ago.

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