Nissan LEAF
Nissan tells GM to take a hike with mpg bragging rights

Earlier today, DailyTech reported that the Chevrolet Volt will be rated at 230 mpg in the city thanks to its hefty lithium-ion battery pack (good for a 40-mile range) and "range extender" gasoline engine/generator. The Volt is said to be good for 100+ mpg when the city and highway driving ranges are combined.

Although General Motors and the EPA have yet to disclose how exactly the 230 mpg figure is calculated, GM did provide the following nugget of information in today's press release regarding the Volt's fuel economy:

Under the new methodology being developed, EPA weights plug-in electric vehicles as traveling more city miles than highway miles on only electricity. The EPA methodology uses kilowatt hours per 100 miles traveled to define the electrical efficiency of plug-ins. Applying EPA's methodology, GM expects the Volt to consume as little as 25 kilowatt hours per 100 miles in city driving. At the U.S. average cost of electricity (approximately 11 cents per kWh), a typical Volt driver would pay about $2.75 for electricity to travel 100 miles, or less than 3 cents per mile.

Taking that methodology into consideration, Nissan is now taking the opportunity to rain on the Volt's parade with some lofty EPA numbers of its own for its new LEAF EV. Nissan even went so far as to take a swipe at the Volt's $40,000+ price tag.

"Nissan Leaf = 367 mpg, no tailpipe, and no gas required. Oh yeah, and it'll be affordable too," noted the company on its NissanEVs Twitter page. Nissan went on to backup the previous statement adding, “To clarify our previous tweet, the DOE formula estimates 367mpg for Nissan LEAF."

Nissan boasts of the higher mpg rating because its LEAF features a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery, while the Volt makes do with a 16 kWh lithium-ion battery. This gives the LEAF a battery-only range of 100 miles compared to just 40 miles for the Volt. However, the Volt has the advantage of being able to rely on its generator to travel an additional 300 miles -- something that Nissan cannot say about its LEAF EV.

The trash talking has begun, so it should be an interesting battle in later 2010 when both the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan LEAF hit U.S. roads.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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