Volt gets new fuel economy label to go with new drive system
DETROIT – 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.
2011 Chevy Volt gets stickered: 93MPG on battery, 37MPG on gasoline
The poster child for the electric car has just received its official EPA sticker, merely days after Nissan's Leaf received its own. The Volt has been found to have a 93MPG equivalent when running purely on batteries, while one could expect an average of 37MPG when using petrol alone. According to the EPA, the Volt will only be capable of cruising 35 miles on a full charge (here's hoping you've got a socket at your workplace, right?), but the overall range of 379 miles ain't too shabby for a car of this size. The good news here is that this sticker will enable General Motors to finally get these automobiles onto showroom floors, but the bad news is pretty obvious: 93 definitely isn't 230.
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