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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: 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.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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