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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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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?

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