Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Volt Gets Its EPA Sticker Also

Hot on the heels of the EPA announcement that the Nissan Leaf will get 99 MPGe, the Chevrolet Volt received its own EPA sticker today. Unlike the all electric Leaf, the Volt is a plug in hybrid and thus has three distinct fuel economy figures. On a full battery charge the Volt will travel about 35 miles while getting 93 MPGe, or only slightly worse than the Leaf. After the initial battery charge runs out the Volt consumes gasoline like a regular car. The EPA rates the Volt at 35 city and 40 highway when running purely on gasoline, these numbers place it slightly above compact cars fuel economy wise. Overall, the EPA predicts that through a mix of electric and gasoline driving the Volt on average will achieve 60 MPG combined, this places the Volt 10 MPG ahead of the Prius. Of course this estimate depends on the amount of driving done with the gas engine running. A long highway drive with no opportunity to recharge will push the MPG down towards 40, while short trips around town will have the Volt's average over 60. While the Volt didn't live up to Chevy's 230 mpg hype claim, its electric efficiency is only slightly behind the lighter Leaf's and respectable in gas only mode.

With both the Leaf and the Volt ready to go on sale this December the electric vehicle battle is on and it's up to the consumer to see which vehicle they prefer. Looking solely at the EPA ratings, the Volt gives up little efficiency while providing a significant range advantage.

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