Chevy Volt Gets 230 mpg, Thanks to New EPA Rules

(Image: GM)

GM today revealed that the new Chevy Volt hybrid will get up to 230 mpg for city driving. ZDNet’s Larry Dignan has more:

General Motors outlined the miles per gallon figures Tuesday. The Volt is expected to start production in late 2010 as a 2011 model. However, there are a few caveats:

* The Volt can travel up to 40 miles on a single electricity charge;
* Its overall range will be 300 miles with its fuel engine;
* GM recommends that you plug in the Volt at least once a day;
* Gas free mileage will depend on cargo, distance, air conditioning use and number of people in the car.

That latter point is huge. What happens when it’s summer, 90 degrees and humid and you have a car pool going? When the battery hits a minimum level, the Volt will switch to extended-range mode. In this mode, the Volt’s fuel engine produces electricity.

Unfortunately, at around $32,500 a car ($40,000 sticker price – $7,500 tax credit), the Chevy Volt will take some serious mileage to break even with a high-mpg traditional car, even at $4/gallon.

Moreover, Government Motors coordinated its “230” marketing campaign with the EPA’s new fuel economy methodology release. According to AutoBlog,

The EPA has released a new methodology for determining a draft fuel economy standard for extended-range EVs like the Volt, and under this new procedure, the Volt will have a composite urban fuel economy rating of 230 mpg! On the electric side, the Volt will consume 25 kW/hours per 100 miles. That makes the Volt the first car ever to get a triple digit fuel economy rating.

CNN breaks down the math here.

The car is slated to ship in 2010 or 2011.

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  • Ben just conducted a study with 300 viewers of a news clip featuring General Motors’ new Chevy Volt. The results showed that 55% of respondents who reported that they were likely to purchase a car in the next year indicated that they would consider the Chevy Volt. For more in-depth results, please visit

  • bluemonkey

    This car has an Electric motor and a battery that must be recharged after 40 miles.
    For NiMH Battery pack:
    If you will be the lucky one, to kip this battery for 300 charge/discharge cycles, you need a new battery set after driving 12000 miles (40miles x 300 recharge cycles). If the cost of the battery is $5000, then you spend $0.4 per mile only in battery cost.
    For Lithium-ion Battery Pack:
    If you will be the lucky one to kip this battery for 600 charge/discharge cycles you need a new battery set after driving 24000 miles (40miles x 600 recharge cycles). If the cost of the battery is $12000, then you spend $0.5 per mile only in battery cost.
    And after, 1 year on use, the battery must be recharged after 30000 miles. That means $0.66 per mile only in battery cost.
    Kilowatts, recharging the battery are extra.
    Oh, by the way, this car has a gasoline engine 40MPG, or $0.065 per mile.
    I bought a used Toyota Corolla, manual, on 2002 with 35000 miles. Now the car has 120000 miles and still makes 34MPG (Summer), or $0.076 per mile.
    Going beyond Hybrid, GM and his rescuers are going down a cliff.