Print 74 comment(s) - last by MCKENZIE1130.. on Nov 29 at 8:39 PM

Chevrolet Volt window sticker
93 mpg on battery power, 37 mpg on gasoline power

After a cluster bomb that was unleashed yesterday when the Nissan Leaf was rated for an EPA estimated 99 mpg -- even though it is a "battery only" vehicle -- General Motors is dropping a bunch of digits on us when it comes to the EPA rating for its Chevrolet Volt.

According to the window sticker that will be plastered on all new Volts sold in the U.S., the vehicle is rate at an equivalent of 93 mpg when running on electricity, and a more sedate 37 mpg when the gasoline engine kicks in after the battery is depleted. This two figures combined give the Volt a "composite" rating of 60 mpg.

And here are some more numbers -- the Volt will have an official "battery only" range of 35 miles, while the total driving range (taking into account the batteries and the gasoline tank) will be 379 miles.

When the Volt was first announced, GM said that the vehicle would have a 40-mile range when running on battery power. The company recently revised that figure to 25-50 miles.

The Volt will go on sale later this month with a price tag of $41,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit.

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They need to stop playing the funny numbers game.
By 91TTZ on 11/24/2010 4:56:25 PM , Rating: 1
As another poster pointed out yesterday, the government's "mpg" rating for running on electric power is extremely misleading. They're taking the amount of energy contained in a gallon of gasoline, converting it to an electricity equivalent, then measuring how far the car can drive on that amount of electricity. This type of rating is misleading because it's only measuring the efficiency in which the car's electric motor converts electricity to movement, and ignores the inefficiency that the power plant experiences burning a fossil fuel to generate electricity.

In a car such as the Prius, that inefficiency is taken into account and it shows on the mpg rating since the fuel must be burned in the engine and turned into motion which drives a generator an/or moves the vehicle. On a plug-in electric, the government is ignoring that stage of production and directly measuring how far the car goes on the electricity equivalent of a gallon of gasoline. This method implies that the conversion from fossil fuels to electricity is 100% efficient, which it's not.

By rangerdavid on 11/24/2010 5:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
By power plant, you mean the local coal/natural gas/hydro/nuke plant on the grid? Toss in transmission loss and a variety of renewable power sources, and it seems there's no way to really say how efficient the power in my garage's plug is compare to yours. So they just ignore that mess and focus on the car.

But yes, we shouldn't ignore the fossil fuels being burned somewhere to ultimately move an electric car from point A to point B (unless you live in Seattle and we are %99 hydro!)

By 91TTZ on 11/24/2010 5:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
So they just ignore that mess and focus on the car.

If they do that, then why don't they figure out the inefficiency of the onboard engine that turns the generator, and conveniently ignore that loss? Because ignoring the generation losses on one car and then taking them into account on another car just isn't fair and doesn't represent reality.

By sorry dog on 11/24/2010 8:06:47 PM , Rating: 2
It's not really a volume of gas comparison that it implies.

It's really a cost comparison based gallons of gas. You don't include the power grid efficiencies because the KWh to gas ration assumes 100% efficiency from the meter (what the power bill is based) to the battery charge... which is probably more in the 80-90% range.
If you know what you pay for a gallon of gas versus a KWh then they compare.
...but I agree it's retarded.

RE: They need to stop playing the funny numbers game.
By mliska1 on 11/24/2010 5:07:17 PM , Rating: 2
But they're also ignoring all of the inefficencies in getting the crude oil out of the ground, refining it (that uses a huge amount of heat to do), pumping it by pipe to substations, hauling it one tanker truck at a time to gas stations in extremely inefficient trucks, pumping it into your car, etc. If you include that, recharging your electric car is probably more efficent than gassing up.

RE: They need to stop playing the funny numbers game.
By 91TTZ on 11/24/2010 5:17:37 PM , Rating: 2
But they're also ignoring all of the inefficencies in getting the crude oil out of the ground, refining it (that uses a huge amount of heat to do), pumping it by pipe to substations, hauling it one tanker truck at a time to gas stations in extremely inefficient trucks, pumping it into your car, etc. If you include that, recharging your electric car is probably more efficent than gassing up.

But the rating system is based on the fuel economy of gasoline, which has already been refined and transported, so those factors never come into play. The starting point of the comparison is the gallon of gasoline sitting in your fuel tank.

By Alexstarfire on 11/25/2010 2:55:08 AM , Rating: 2
So you'd ignore the inefficiency of producing the gas but not for electric and call it fair? Sorry, that isn't going to fly. If they are using the gas in the gas tank as a starting point then using the amount of electricity in the battery is the exact same comparison.

By Targon on 11/26/2010 6:02:18 AM , Rating: 2
How efficient something is only applies to where the consumer has to pay. In this case, you have the electricity the consumer pays for to the amount that ends up in the battery.

The (in)efficiency of the power plant and distribution is already included in the cost of electricity, in the way that the cost of gas already includes the cost of crude oil, processing, and distribution of the resulting gasoline to your local gas station.

The point that the number of kilowatts of electricity you get and pay for from the electric company will be higher than the amount the battery will absorb is the percentage lost in the charging process of the battery pack.

So, you pay for your gas, and you pay for your electric. How much power is lost in the process of charging up a plug-in car?

RE: They need to stop playing the funny numbers game.
By mliska1 on 11/24/2010 5:48:22 PM , Rating: 3
I stand by my retarded thinking. The original poster said that, in an ICE that it takes into account inherant losses through combustion which, of course, are way, way more than the losses of simply putting power in a battery through an electric motor for forward motion. However, he wants to counter that by adding effects of making the power itself through coal combustion and the losses in transmission. These are not the same thing.

If you're going to count only losses in the car's power plant, then you have to count it the way it was measured: using the regular MPG rating of a gas engine to its equivalent in electric power. If you're going to add losses far outside the car itself, such as losses from coal combustion and electric transmission, then you have to add the losses of gasoline refining and transportation as well.

By Reclaimer77 on 11/24/2010 6:47:57 PM , Rating: 1
No he's not. I think you need to read his post again.

By Solandri on 11/24/2010 7:04:39 PM , Rating: 3
You can avoid most of this argument by doing a cost-per-gallon comparison.

Current price of 87 octane gas = about $3.00/gal

From the fine print on the EPA label:
$0.12 per kW-hr of electricity
33.7 kW-hr per gallon-equivalent
($0.12 / kW-hr) * (33.7 kW-hr / gallon) = $4.044/gal-equiv

So from the figures the EPA is using, energy in the form of electricity is more expensive than energy in the form of gasoline. And the only reason EVs are cheaper to operate is because they're more efficient from battery pack to wheels on the ground.

By phantom505 on 11/24/2010 10:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
And to make it even more confusing you're best off using local gas and electric prices. But that would require someone to think... and we can't have consumers doing that!

RE: They need to stop playing the funny numbers game.
By goku on 11/25/2010 3:51:52 AM , Rating: 2
But that would require someone to think... and we can't have consumers doing that!

Well you can't have consumers be doing that, you need them to follow obediently to what the government says you should do. If your government tells you this isn't violating your rights or that this is what you should buy, you're going to have to believe that because otherwise you're against the government. If you're having people think about one thing, they might start thinking about other things, and soon might threaten the power of the government to exert control. It's best to keep people hopelessly ignorant as it's easier to control them that way, whether it's in the dealership show room, or when they're being screened by the TSA.

You're either with us or against us.

By phantom505 on 11/25/2010 1:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
There are many things not right with the politics of this country. Three of them is the idea you can be infinitely intelligent, infinitely paranoid, and infinitely able to control what happens in your life. None of these things are possible unless you're God, so yes, you need a summary and an education to understand the summary.

This sticker provides that but what would make sense is to have the local dealers actually post a little info for you that is fact based) on the actual costs of energy.

Government last I check isn't telling you what car to buy, they are encouraging technological growth and a sustainable route. Using fossil fuels will not work forever. More people means more cars. If we keep relying on imported fossil fuels then we have a national security problem on top of an air and water quality problem, on top of potentially numerous other issues.

I wish people on this site would quit trying to over simplify everything, nothing is that simple. If it were we would have already come up with a perfect solution.

By Alexstarfire on 11/25/2010 6:05:25 AM , Rating: 1
You make it sound like it's a bad thing that EVs have a more efficient motor. That's pretty much the only reason EVs are worth looking at after all. ICEs could barely manage half the efficiency at best that most electric motors have now.

RE: They need to stop playing the funny numbers game.
By Hiawa23 on 11/24/2010 6:44:07 PM , Rating: 1
my head is about to explode with misinformation out there for these vehicles. I guess it's not possible that we will see a gasoline engined vehicle get 60-70mpg, & not be as ugly as a Prius, cuz let's be honest, for most of us, the only option will be gasoline vehicles. Why can't they improve MPGs for these vehicles by a huge margin, haven't they been making gasoline engined vehicles for decades? What's holding back the technology?

RE: They need to stop playing the funny numbers game.
By walk2k on 11/24/10, Rating: 0
By goku on 11/25/2010 4:13:51 AM , Rating: 2
They use imperial gallons in England, which is significantly larger than the gallons we use in the US. To give you a hint about how they don't have cars overseas that have mileage significantly higher than what we can buy here, just keep what I'm about to tell you in mind. In London, if you buy and drive a Prius, you are NOT subject to congestion tax. Also, the Prius is immensely popular in japan, another country touted for having very high fuel efficiency vehicles. London does this because the Prius really is that efficient. If the Prius wasn't so efficient, why is the Prius popular in Japan? Or why does the city of London work to actually prop up the sales of these vehicles?

Finally, keep in mind that the environmental regulations overseas are far less stringent than in the United States. We have the strictest emissions in the world with the state of California being the very most strict of all. No big oil conspiracy here, just people choosing to buy inefficient, large, HEAVY vehicles over smaller, fuel sipping compact cars.

By Masospaghetti on 11/25/2010 7:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, its a huge conspiracy. /sarcasm

Actually, it's because the American public is nonsensically, vehemently against raising the fuel tax, despite the societal costs. In Europe, cars get 60-70 mpg because 1) they use a different, larger gallon, and 2) fuel cost about $2 per litre or $8 per gallon.

Increasing the fuel tax here in the states would be the single best thing a politician could do for the country, provided the tax increase was offset with a decrease in another tax, such as income payroll tax . It's simple, expensive fuel causes people to consume less and demand higher MPG vehicles.

Keep in mind also that safety standards here in the US means that cars will always be heavy. Gas-only cars such as the new Cruze Eco are almost maxxed out in efficiency, IMO - small turbo engines, 6-speed transmissions, efficiency tires, aerodynamic tricks, lightweight wheels, etc. They might be able to get another +2 mpg from direct injection, but that's about it. 30/45 mpg is probably about as high as it goes.

By Targon on 11/26/2010 6:25:39 AM , Rating: 2
The 2012 Ford Focus will be getting close to 40 miles per gallon highway(US Gallons) and 160 horsepower out of a 2.0L non-turbocharged engine. Going to a 1.4L turbocharged should beat out that 30/45 number, and that is without further improvements to vehicle weight and design. Take that and cut it down to a 3-door hatchback design and you could get a bit better out of it.

Take the engine from that new Focus, put it into something the size of a Smart Car, and bingo, you hit 50 miles per gallon highway mpg.

By FITCamaro on 11/26/2010 3:43:52 PM , Rating: 3
You are insane if you think the US government will lower income taxes to increase gas taxes.

Plus its a dumb idea because its highly unlikely that the income tax would be cut enough to offset the costs increases in EVERYTHING that come as a result of extremely high fuel prices. Especially in states or cities that are far from ports. Europeans seem to forget that their countries are tiny in comparison to the US.

By Mint on 11/27/2010 9:40:30 AM , Rating: 2
How is it highly unlikely? If it's revenue neutral on the government's end, then it will be revenue neutral, on average, for the consumer.

By Masospaghetti on 11/28/2010 9:26:59 AM , Rating: 2
With the current "leadership" I don't think it will happen either, but it's pretty much the ONLY sane way to reduce fuel consumption. How practical it is in our current political climate, that's a different story.

Plus its a dumb idea because its highly unlikely that the income tax would be cut enough to offset the costs increases in EVERYTHING that come as a result of extremely high fuel prices.

And where would these "extra" expenses go? Would they vanish? People that use less fuel would end up with a net gain, people that depend on transportation would end up with a net loss. It's pretty simple, there's no money being obliterated.

And before you label me as a tree-hugging, bicycle riding hippie, realize I have a 40 mile commute every day to work and I drive a Ford Explorer with a big 4.0 all-iron engine.

By Mint on 11/27/2010 9:44:24 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, it's political suicide.

Somebody tried that in Canada, where we are supposedly more environmentally friendly, and he lost a lot of seats in his party for trying to be so bold.

That's right: he outlined a plan to reduce income tax, add a carbon tax, and do it in a way that most people would wind up with more money in their pockets. As a result, voters shut him down.

By IntelUser2000 on 11/24/2010 7:29:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure adding fossil fuel power plant into the equation makes it any simpler.

Surely managing a single big power source like a power plant is far more economical/efficient/cleaner than trying to do the same for millions of cars sold every year.

I agree with the first point though, but for different reasons. It doesn't make sense just because battery tech have far less energy density than gasoline that MPG ratings are meaningless. It's meaningless to the consumers who are the ones that look at the numbers to buy them.

By Targon on 11/26/2010 6:19:09 AM , Rating: 2
What people really want to know is what the cost of ownership will end up being for them, and that is what has NOT been talked about.

Cost of ownership=initial cost of the car+maintenance+fuel(whatever the source).

Everything else tends to be a secondary factor and just distorts things quite a bit. This applies to the Prius, Volt, or even a normal car.

I don't see how a $40,000+ car will ever end up with a lower cost of ownership than a $23,000 car with a normal engine that gets 40 mpg highway/30 mpg city. You put more out of your pocket up front for the EV/hybrid, but you don't end up saving $17,000 in fuel costs over a 5-7 year period.

Now, those numbers, 40mpg/30mpg are close to the 2011 Hyundai Elantra(due in Dec of 2010), the 2011 Ford Fiesta, and the 2012 Ford Focus(due Spring of 2011 with the current fuel efficiency estimates for it). The Fiesta is a 120 horsepower subcompact that sells for $15,000-$19,000. The new Focus will be a 160 horsepower compact, and the Elantra is set to get 140 horsepower. Much lower in overall cost of ownership compared to a $40,000+ Volt.

One other thing to consider is how comfortable any vehicle is, since the more you pay for a car, the more enjoyable you want it to be. There are clearly tradeoffs to be had when you go for a hybrid in terms of trunk space or even vehicle appearance(I don't like the look of the Prius), so that can be factored in.

And then, the thing that won't be mentioned, how much pollution is generated in the creation of these cars, including the batteries? Batteries tend to be fairly toxic, and the production of batteries can release a LOT of pollution into the environment where the batteries are made. If it happens in China, many consumers outside of China won't care as long as pollution is not generated HERE, but it sure doesn't help save the planet.

By Thats Mr Gopher to you on 11/25/2010 2:46:46 AM , Rating: 1
Are you also going to demand that the fuel consumed to deliver the fuel to the gas station be taken into the calculation for ICE vehicles? And the energy used to extract and process the oil? If not, then that sounds like a rather large double standard.

The burning of fossil fuels and other sources to power electric vehicles are not trivial matters and should be considered but they do not need to be taken into account for the 'MPG' rating of a vehicle.

Not so stellar, but...
By rangerdavid on 11/24/2010 4:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
The more we learn about the Volt, the less it seems to stand up to the hype. On the other hand, these numbers aren't all that bad, if you do mostly city driving - and that seems on par for where the electric vehicle market is right now. I guess it's disappointing to see it get 2/3 the gas mileage of a Prius once the battery runs out. It would be a more compelling sell if it had the battery-only miles, plus Prius-competitive hybrid or gas-electric performance.

Ok, it's a start.

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By 91TTZ on 11/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: Not so stellar, but...
By gregpet on 11/24/2010 6:54:07 PM , Rating: 5
Just to be clear...
Toyota has announced the pricing for their plu-in Prius and it is $36,000 with an EV range of only 15 miles...

Please stop with the comparison with the Volt. It is not even close.

AND...You don't by a Volt to run it on gas (whichOrius does as soon as you step on the gas peddle). You by a Volt to Drive your 35-40 miles EV every day and then plug it in at night.

During normal driving weeks you may never burn any gas at all...

Why is this so difficult for you people to understand! The Prius and Volt are nothing alike! And if you want to buy a plug in Prius it will be a worse car (less range and almost as expensive b/c it won't be elidable for the $7500 rebate - only $5000)

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By walk2k on 11/24/2010 9:18:24 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're right, I think someone buying a Volt would plan for 99% of the time to drive it on electric only, to and from work, and plug it in at night. BUT they also have the option if they need to drive it farther, using the gas engine.

I'm still not sure they will pay $41k for it though (or even $33.5k after tax rebate). And we don't know how reliable they will be... it's a GM product, after all.....

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By Alexstarfire on 11/25/2010 3:13:05 AM , Rating: 2
I know the Volt is a better car, but come on. You have some pretty funky rationales. The Prius doesn't go to gas the second you hit the gas pedal. It depends on battery charge and acceleration, but it uses the battery for a second or two before turning on the ICE. I also don't understand your cost argument. A cheaper car with a rebate almost as big makes it almost as expensive? A quick look shows the plug-in Prius to cost about $27,500 before rebates, compared to $41,00 for the Volt. After rebates that's $22,500 and $33,500 respectively. That makes the Volt about %50 more expensive. That's not even close.

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By Masospaghetti on 11/25/2010 7:01:21 PM , Rating: 4
Prius plug-in is estimated to be $5000-$8000 more than a regular Prius. so $28,500-$31,500 before rebates for a stripper model.

While cheaper than the Volt, it also has less than half the EV range and is inferior dynamically, with slower acceleration and less lateral grip. It also has far fewer standard amenities (people conveniently forget that a "base" Volt has a lot of standard content). If you consider a loaded Prius model, there's no comparison - its more expensive AND less capable.

People are whining about 37 mpg in range-extended mode - this is a combined city/highway value and better than almost every other car on the market, except for the Prius. It matches the Camry Hybrid, Fusion Hybrid, Sonata Hybrid, and easily bests any gas-only vehicle sold stateside. Considering this is the Volt's least-efficient mode, it's very impressive.

After all, the point of this car is to use NO gas on a daily basis but not lose any flexibility as you normally would with an EV.

Also, people complaining that the EV range keeps dropping - GM stated 40 miles, EPA stated 35. How about Nissan? They stated 100 miles for the LEAF, and the EPA stated 73. Sounds like GM was closer to the target than Nissan was.

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/26/2010 7:13:22 AM , Rating: 2
Is that battery range before or after turning on the headlights, radio, windshield wipers, heater or A/C etc? I get 55mpg in my Prius under all driving conditions. Since I commute 40 miles each way, the Volt is a non-starter for me. If I had a 10 mile commute, I would consider it, but I bet that the ICE would kick in every day.

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By Masospaghetti on 11/28/2010 9:31:35 AM , Rating: 3
The overall mileage of the Volt is not going to be affected any worse than your's not like the heater and A/C draw more energy in the Volt than your current vehicle.

In any case, the EPA test cycle includes A/C usage, not sure about the other accessories...but the power draw from the headlights and radio are pretty small compared to the 3-5 kW used by the a/c compressor.

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By Alexstarfire on 11/28/2010 4:59:44 AM , Rating: 1
The price I mentored was for the plug-in model they are debuting next year, if what I read is true anyway. The fact that the amenities aren't identical isn't meaningful to the consumer who is looking at the lowest price for each vehicle. You can not get a base Volt to match a base Prius or most other vehicles, simple as that. Comparing the minimum price for each vehicle is perfectly valid.

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By Masospaghetti on 11/28/2010 9:29:49 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, you can get a Cruze for $16,000. It's a much better deal than a BMW 328i!! It's about a third of the cost. /sarcasm

You absolutely have to compare identical trim levels because that is what you are paying for.

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By goku on 11/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: Not so stellar, but...
By Chillin1248 on 11/25/2010 8:45:57 AM , Rating: 3
Some good points there.

I personally drive a Daihatsu Sirion 1.3L Petrol and it manages 48.7 MPG on a all gas drive. So don't mind me if I am a little underwhelmed at the Volt.


RE: Not so stellar, but...
By Flunk on 11/25/2010 9:20:55 AM , Rating: 2
The MPG on this article is the EPA rating, which is in American gallons. Which are smaller than imperial gallons. The numbers aren't comparable.

But I do get your point, there isn't a big gap in fuel efficiency between hybrids and smaller, all gas cars.

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By Masospaghetti on 11/25/2010 7:03:19 PM , Rating: 2
How much does your Daihatsu weigh? How much would be left after a frontal collision with a Suburban? How many 200 lb Americans can fit inside if your car?

I get 120 mpg on my 2-stroke Yamaha...

48.7 mpg is great, but this is obviously not a serious comparison.

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By goku on 11/26/2010 12:26:57 AM , Rating: 2
That car isn't sold in the United States, either in the UK or in Japan so the part about the suburban is irrelevant. The car weighs around 1937lbs, very similar in weight to the CRX HF, Civic VX hatch, Metro hatch, and a few other gas sippers. From my knowledge about all Honda Civics including the VX, it can carry an additional 800lbs in terms of not violating the Maxmium GVWR, despite the vehicle weighing 2100lbs. Most cars, even really heavy cars (think 4-5K lbs) don't really have a carrying capacity of more than about 1000LBs and that's to ensure good ride quality and handling properties. A vehicle with a lot of carrying capacity is usually one that doesn't ride very well at all, such as a pickup truck.

To give you an example, the Lexus LS430 has a carrying capacity of 1150Lbs despite weighing 4000lbs. To further illustrate this desire of manufacturers to limit a car's carrying capacity, try comparing two Honda civics of the same body style, like the 1999 Civic Si Coupe M/T and the 1999 Civic DX Coupe M/T. The Si weighs 2610lbs while the DX with the M/T weighs 2335lbs. Yet instead of both vehicles having the same Maximum GVWR, the Si has a Maximum GVWR that is conveniently about 275lbs greater than the DX despite them sharing the same chassis and there being a small difference in weight.

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By Dr of crap on 11/29/2010 12:42:17 PM , Rating: 2
Why is it so hard for YOU people to understand -
IN most peoples eyes, I throw myself in there, they ARE the same.
Gas and battery powered
Limited battery range
HIGHER priced than a ICE car

The numbers game we need to looking at, and posted on here very well, is the COST OF ONWERSHIP.
It will take over 7 years to recoup the high cost of the Volt with reduced gas usage.
That's it. Plain and simple.
I can buy a used ( 2-3 year old ) 30/40mpg ICE car for $10,000-$12,000 and drive it to 200,000 miles, as I have with the past 4 cars I boughten like this, and THAT is how cost of onwership is reduced.
Those of us with kids and bills to pay won't go for $40,000 cars. It's not cost effective.
Saving the planet with battery power is not even second or third on my list!

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By Uncle on 11/25/2010 8:56:43 AM , Rating: 2
Both sides of the fuel equation can say they have won. The oil companies keep raking in their money and the greens can claim a victory also.:)

RE: Not so stellar, but...
By Alexvrb on 11/25/2010 5:47:24 PM , Rating: 2
The Volt is also faster, better looking, and better handling. In addition to significantly more electric-only miles. It's more expensive, yes, but for a reason. It is a better experience for the driver. The Prius drives like a cheap econobox.

I wouldn't buy either of them, at this point. But it makes me laugh when people only quote battery-depleted MPG and declare the Prius the better car. By that logic, an old CRX clearly beats the crap out of a modern Civic.

Also, the Prius runs in gas mode way more often in my type of daily drive. The Volt? Only when it runs out of juice, or (for efficiency reasons, read up on the transmission) at high speeds on the highway.

60 "Combined" ? How is this calculated?
By rangerdavid on 11/24/10, Rating: 0
RE: 60 "Combined" ? How is this calculated?
By Jeremy87 on 11/24/10, Rating: 0
By rangerdavid on 11/24/2010 7:08:22 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh, a more elegant solution. Thanks.

By Solandri on 11/24/2010 7:26:56 PM , Rating: 4
Average car is driven 12000-15000 miles per year. Split the difference and call it 13,500 miles per year. Assuming it's a commuter car, it's driven 250 days a year, or 54 miles a day.

If you drive 54 miles in a day, 35 of which are on battery, 19 are on gasoline.

19 miles @ 37 mpg = (19 miles) / (37 miles/gallon) = 0.514 gallons
35 miles @ 93 mpg = (35 miles) / (93 miles/gallon) = 0.376 gallons

Total miles = 54. Total gallons = 0.890.

54 miles / 0.890 gallons = 60.7 mpg

RE: 60 "Combined" ? How is this calculated?
By nafhan on 11/24/2010 5:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think they take into account the fact that most people won't be driving it to empty. Do the same calculations, but replace 379 with 50, and you end up with ~60MPG. In other words, they expect most people to drive about 85 miles.
Either way... I think using MPG on an electric vehicle is confusing at best.

By rangerdavid on 11/24/2010 7:11:21 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe just ditch the "MPG equivalent" and just state the range per 4-hour charge?

Or better yet, just state the miles per 10 Kw hours or something? That would take into account the progressively more efficient electric motors and transmissions, so you could compare electric-to-electric better in the future, i.e. "My new car gets 25 Miles-per-Kilowatt-Hour, my old one only got 21"

RE: 60 "Combined" ? How is this calculated?
By Solandri on 11/24/2010 7:38:37 PM , Rating: 3
Do the same calculations, but replace 379 with 50, and you end up with ~60MPG. In other words, they expect most people to drive about 85 miles.

This is a common mistake people make with MPG. When you average two MPGs, it's not

(MPG1 + MPG2) / 2


2 / [ (1/MPG1) + (1/MPG2) ]

For cases where you're averaging different numbers of miles at different MPG, it's

(miles1 + miles2) / [ (miles1/MPG1) + (miles2/MPG2) ]

You have to do this complicated conversion because MPG is the inverse of fuel consumption. MPG tells you how many miles you can go on a gallon of fuel, not how much fuel is needed to travel a certain distance. The rest of the world uses L/100km for this reason (kinda like gallons per 100 miles). You'll notice the EPA is trying to correct this with the electric/hybrid ratings - it's listing electricity consumption in kW-hr per 100 miles.

By Targon on 11/26/2010 5:51:18 AM , Rating: 2
As others have mentioned, the key is to look at how far you have to drive each day, and "averages" won't work here. The mpg rating(using miles per American gallon) does not break out highway miles vs. city miles per gallon. For those who live right in the city they work in, you may be able to get away with all electric on your commute, but MOST people live outside the city they work in, and a place like New York City has a VERY large area where you could have a 30 mile commute each way and still be "in the city".

Car & Driver 10 Best for 2010
By gregpet on 11/24/2010 7:00:59 PM , Rating: 5
This is a quote from Car & Driver (from gm-volt dot com)
“To put it simply, the Volt was far and away the biggest surprise to every editor at this year’s 10Best event,” Car and Driver editors wrote in their January 2011 issue. “None of us imagined that nestling into the glass cockpit would bring the words ‘automotive bliss’ and ‘electric vehicle’ together in the same sentence.

“Best of all, its efficiency is unmatched, as long as interstate travel is omitted,” Car and Driver concluded. “One editor drove the Volt 101 miles in 18 hours (including a 10.5-hour charge) and only used one gallon of gas. That’s some seriously eye-popping arithmetic.”

This is a game changer and everyone (Motor Trend, Car & Driver, Automobile, Green Car Journal & anyone who has driven it).

As I said in another thread...Just because you people don't 'get it' doesn't make it not true. Please do some research and stop with the ignorant comments.

RE: Car & Driver 10 Best for 2010
By SerafinaEva on 11/25/2010 1:19:44 PM , Rating: 2

Just the Facts:

* Despite promises that the Chevy Volt will operate as an electric car at all times, it will in fact at times be directly driven in part by its internal combustion engine.

* The mechanical link between Ecotec internal combustion engine and drive wheels will be at high speed.

In fact the Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid and it has more in common with conventional "series-parallel" hybrids like the Toyota Prius than the marketing hype led us to believe. There are circumstances in which the Volt operates with the internal combustion

RE: Car & Driver 10 Best for 2010
By Solandri on 11/25/2010 4:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
This reminds me of the objections environmentalists had about hybrids when they were first introduced. Yes, contrary to today, environmentalists hated hybrids at first. See, they get got all their energy from gasoline, so "weren't addressing the real problem" of fossil fuel dependency. Environmentalists wanted us to jump straight from vehicles which run on 100% fossil fuels, to vehicles which run 100% on electricity. The auto companies insisted that hybrids, while providing smaller fuel savings per vehicle, would be more accepted by a larger portion of the population, thus providing a fuel savings for the nation overall. And judging from the sales figures they were right.

Yes the Volt is pretty much a plug-in hybrid. I don't recall it ever being advertised as anything but that. Sure the range spec has dropped over time, but that always happens when marketing promises meet engineering reality. GM (and I'm no fan of them and their bailout either) made an accounting decision that the number of people like you (who insist on a pure electric vehicle) was much smaller than the number of people who don't want to limit themselves to 40 miles of driving per 12 hours. A small number of you see the gas engine as a negative, but a much larger number of people see it as a positive.

Do not judge the Volt against what you want. Judge it against what's out there right now. We've pretty much maxed out engine, aerodynamic, and rolling efficiency in a 5-passenger sedan to hit about 50 MPG. Now we're throwing in plug-in batteries to push that to about 60 MPG(e). It's an incremental step, which I'm sure will get better as the years go by. Insisting on pure electric vehicles from the get-go is like asking us to reach a destination a mile away in a single leap. Reality dictates that the best way to get there is one step at a time.

Cry babies
By andrinoaa on 11/25/2010 2:14:30 AM , Rating: 2
Stop with the crap already. If you use the battery, NO GAS is used. If you use the range extending motor, you get 35mpg. WHAT is so hard to comprehend that every single bloody agenda gets thrown up? All the other issues will be attended to once we create the demand for them to be fixed: so, WHO CARES about the other issues on this topic? I see Fit is still at it, man aren't you tired of knocking EVERYTHING? I stopped contributing a while back hoping it would come back to a "tech" sight, but its still a repositry of nay sayers, child men, get a life!

RE: Cry babies
By Targon on 11/26/2010 5:52:24 AM , Rating: 2
Is that 35mpg highway or city?

RE: Cry babies
By foolsgambit11 on 11/26/2010 4:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
I agree there's a lot of wind on this subject, but to correct you, the Volt will use the gasoline engine when the battery is full under certain conditions. It helps keep the cost down (you don't need as large of an electric motor for the same performance, because you get the power of the gas engine added to the power of the electric motor). Given the narrow scenarios when this happens, though, it shouldn't mean much in the real world when it comes to gas mileage.

So the question simply becomes, does this piece of tech fit well into your life? If so, great, if not, no worries. (Or it would be that easy, if we didn't get launched into debates about the government rebate.)

Any electrical engineers out there?
By wordsworm on 11/24/2010 10:19:39 PM , Rating: 2
I have a basic question following a known statement:

The electrical infrastructure of the US and Canada is old and has shown signs of inadequacy.

So here's the question: If people start buying these electric vehicles in great quantities, how much more electricity would be required of power plants to generate? Would the infrastructure be able to handle a much greater quantity of drain? As far as I can tell, we're talking a huge amount of electricity for each car. Anyone with sense care to comment on that?

RE: Any electrical engineers out there?
By hr824 on 11/25/2010 12:39:58 AM , Rating: 1
The current grid can support 84% of all cars in the US since most charged at night. Power plants can not be shut off willy nilly so at night plants are running but little of the electricity produced is sold. Electricity rates should go down as more and more electricity is sold at night instead of wasted.

In the future with lots of electric cars plugged in power companies could use the cars batteries to handle peak loads instead of firing up small plants as they do now or store solar or wind excess power. Of course were a long way from that.

By wordsworm on 11/25/2010 9:13:34 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know what powerplants you're talking about. Hell, I watched a show about how electrical engineers have to anticipate tea time in England to get the right amount of juice flowing through the pipes.

I know that demand drops, and the cost of energy at night is less than in the day. However, I am sceptical that your analysis is accurate.

GM Lied: Chevy Volt Is Not a True EV
By SerafinaEva on 11/25/2010 1:14:21 PM , Rating: 2

Just the Facts:

* Despite promises that the Chevy Volt will operate as an electric car at all times, it will in fact at times be directly driven in part by its internal combustion engine.

* The mechanical link between Ecotec internal combustion engine and drive wheels will be at high speed.

In fact the Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid and it has more in common with conventional "series-parallel" hybrids like the Toyota Prius than the marketing hype led us to believe. There are circumstances in which the Volt operates with the internal combustion engine directly driving the front wheels. That's right, like a Prius.

By Amiteriver on 11/29/2010 4:26:32 PM , Rating: 3
What happens when you turn the heater on - LOL

Such a disappointment
By Mjello on 11/24/2010 5:14:26 PM , Rating: 2
After all the hype this car is just disappointing. To me, this car is a failure. So much promised. So little delivered.

RE: Such a disappointment
By Dr of crap on 11/29/2010 12:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you.

I want to SEE if it will sell.
Let's have it on the lots ready to sell and see if the masses want it!

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
By TerraFirma82 on 11/24/2010 6:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
This just in:
Futuristic car built from GM unable to live up to impossible hype! Also, sky-high price of the car is unaffordable to target demographic! Response from target demographic: we don't care - prefer driving reliable, cost-effective, efficient automobiles!


By Amiteriver on 11/29/2010 4:24:38 PM , Rating: 2
Trying to understand--- Chevy Volt
A 100,000 mile warranty and a net cost of car $33,000 car

Replacement Chevrolet Volt battery pack material , labor and markup $17,000 est. ? You now have a 100K mile car with no warranty except for the battery. Car that cost you $ 51,000 - less the electric savings which depends on how many 40 mile round trips you do.
I wonder what the brain box or a transmission would run L&Mat. on this car?
Uhh 2.75 per gal. / 25 mpg = 11 cents per

I don't get it. Most elect is made from coal. Its a Green thing. You only have to have elect heat in your home to know what elect cost you. O -By the way what happens when you turn the heater on in this thing Jeezzzz LOL
2011 Chevrolet Volt battery pack 10,000 bucks GM dead mat. cost ------ for now
No worse than corn for ethanol - I guess

Never Fooled Me Obama
By btc909 on 11/25/2010 8:38:23 PM , Rating: 1
So with a 9.3 gallon gas tank, let say 9 gallons since most drivers don't run the tank empty only equals with 379 miles combined? So 9 gallons x $3.30 a gallon of premium fuel is $29.70 plus $2-3 to recharge the battery $32 to fill up a Volt to go 379 miles? For 41K! Yes you can knock off some of the $29.70 if you recharge each day but still the numbers just don't add up.

Oh and 36K for a plug in Prius, no thanks. I'll stick with NiMH Prius.

RE: Never Fooled Me Obama
By Masospaghetti on 11/28/2010 9:35:18 AM , Rating: 3
If you regularly drove your Volt from full to empty, than you bought the wrong car.

So how much gas does your Prius use for a 30 mile commute? How much gas does the Volt use? Hint: The Volt uses infinitely less.

OBVIOUSLY the idea is that, on most days, you use no gasoline, but you still have unlimited freedom to take a trip (and still get respectable gas mileage). But you knew that, so stop trolling.

By Paj on 11/24/2010 4:50:37 PM , Rating: 3
But we should be using NUCLEAR

Really too bad...
By Iaiken on 11/25/2010 10:15:38 AM , Rating: 3
93 mpg is still atrocious when you factor in how much batteries cost per gallon. ;)

By MCKENZIE1130 on 11/29/2010 8:39:31 PM , Rating: 1
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