2011 Chevrolet Volt rated by EPA at 93 mpg

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 24, 2010

General Motors announced today that the 2011 Chevrolet Volt was rated by EPA at 93 mpg. According to the manufacturer, powered only by the gasoline engine, the car delivers 37 mpg, while running on a combination of electricity and gasoline the Volt delivers the equivalent of 60 mpg. In addition, EPA said that the 2011 Volt has a total range of 35 miles when running only on electricity, while then using also the gasoline engine, it has an impressive range of 379 miles.

“We have said that the range is variable on how you drive,” said Doug Parks, GM's vehicle line executive in charge of the Volt.

The bad news is that the Chevrolet Volt enters the EPA compact vehicle segment, which means that its main rivals will be cars such as the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze and Toyota Corolla. Still, the Chevrolet Volt was overtaken by the 2011 Nissan LEAF, which was rated at 99 mpg.

General Motors, in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, designed a new label in order to ensure that consumers know what to expect once they get to drive a Volt. This is because the Volt is unlike any car before it.

In the past, computing the fuel economy of a car involved filling-up the tank with fuel, driving it, then dividing the distance with the amount of fuel that was consumed. Even if electric cars do not have any tailpipe emissions, they still use energy.

Thus the MPG equivalent, or MPGe, can be determined by simply measuring the electricity that was used and then converting it to energy content similar to a gallon of gasoline. With the MPGe ratings, consumers were able to compare how efficient the Volt was compared to other cars in the same segment.

The Volt itself has two sources of energy. The first is electricity obtained from the grid and the second is the gasoline. The mixture of the two will depend on how far the consumer expects to drive and how often the battery is expected to be charged.

Thus despite being a complex vehicle, the Volt is one that is easy to use. Further, though the new fuel economy label may also be complex, it contains more information compared to the EPA label that was used in the past.

Press Release

Volt gets new fuel economy label to go with new drive system

When the 2011 Volt begins arriving in Chevrolet showrooms over the next few weeks it will have an all-new fuel economy label to go with its unique propulsion system.

With its ability to operate completely gasoline- and emissions-free for 25 to 50 miles and then continue indefinitely with its range- extending engine, the Volt’s energy efficiency depends on how you use it.

Because the Volt works like no other car before it, General Motors and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency collaborated to design a new label to help consumers understand what to expect when they drive the Volt. Before plug-in cars like the Volt, calculating fuel economy was simply a matter of filling the tank with fuel, driving the vehicle and dividing the distance by the amount of fuel consumed.

Even though they have no tailpipe emissions, electric cars still use energy so the MPG equivalent (MPGe) is determined by measuring electricity use and converting it based on the energy content in a gallon of gasoline. This MPGe rating allows consumers to compare the Volt’s efficiency to other cars in its segment.

The Volt uses two energy sources, electricity from the grid, and gasoline from the pump, with the mix depending on how far you drive and how often you charge the battery. The Volt is a complex vehicle that is incredibly easy to use. And while the new fuel economy label also looks complex, it has more information than any EPA label before it.

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