It is mid October here in Maine, and the leaves are turning. We had our first frost last night and the daytime temperatures are dropping into the 50s. We are noticing that the electric range in our Chevy Volt is dropping as we begin to use the heater more. In the summer without using air conditioning we were getting an electric range of 45 to 48 miles - this is now dropping into the upper 30s as we use the heater more.
We have two strategies that we are using to extend our electric range, one is that we can use the remote control from inside the house - well over 100 feet away - to turn the car on while it is still plugged in to the charger. This way we can use “shore power” to warm the car for 10 minutes before we get in it. We have to remember to leave the climate control in “comfort mode” when we park it and plug it in so that it will warm the car quickly when we power it up remotely.
The other strategy involves parking the car out in our parking area to the north of my solar powered workshop. This way the Volt can absorb some free heat from the sun in the morning and afternoon to warm the vehicle.