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EPA Rates Chevy Volt at 60 MPG

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On: Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 3:18PM | By: Chris Weiss

EPA Rates Chevy Volt at 60 MPG

Well, it's official. Bloated 230 mpg ratings are a thing of the past, and the Chevy Volt gets a much more down-to-earth 60 miles to the gallon. The EPA gave the car a 93 mpg-e rating, which is a measure of its "electric-only" capabilities, and a 37 mpg gasoline rating. Together, these ratings made for the 60 mpg "combined composite" rating.

Given that the Volt is capable of both all-electric and gasoline driving, its numbers are a little different than the Nissan Leaf's ratings, which the EPA released last week. The all-electric figure will be pertinent at smaller distances. Chevy estimates that the Volt is capable of between 25 and 50 miles worth of all-electric range.

The Leaf earned a 99 mpg-e rating, which reflects its electric-only powertrain. So, whether you factor in the Volt's gasoline capabilities or not, the Leaf comes out on top in terms of miles per gallon.

Of course, range has always been the Leaf's weakness when compared to the Volt, and it will continue to be a weakness now that official EPA numbers are out. According to the agency's numbers, the Chevy Volt gets an electric-only range of 35 miles, slightly lower than the 40 miles GM had long advertised. When you throw in the four-cylinder engine, you get an extra 344 miles, a figure that is more than GM's own reckoning of 300 miles. The Leaf, meanwhile, was found to offer a 73-mile all-electric range. But since it has no gas engine, there's no extra range above and beyond that modest 73 miles.

The Volt and Leaf are set to lock horns next month and will both hit select markets during the months to come. The EPA's official ratings corral the vastly bloated figures that Chevy and Nissan were quick to give a year ago. Chevy made some headlines in summer of 2009 when it boasted that the Volt would offer 230 mpg. Not to be outdone, Nissan quickly followed that announcement with a 367-mpg estimate for the Leaf. The EPA was quick to discount these estimates, instead working to develop a new formula for vehicles offering electric-only driving. Since these vehicles don't necessarily use "gallons" of gasoline, the mpg rating simply didn't apply.

The EPA's numbers reflect a 36 kWh per 100 miles for the Volt and 34 kWh for 100 miles for the Leaf.

Both models soar straight past the current efficiency leader. The 2011 Toyota Prius is rated at 51 mpg higway and 48 mpg city.

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msshayesims | 4:02PM (Tue, Nov 30, 2010)

Estimated is just that "estimated". Is there ever really a comparison between Nissan and Chevy?


imwithcoco | 10:15AM (Wed, Dec 1, 2010)

It is hard to compare the Leaf to the Volt. The Leaf is pure electric vehicle, the Volt is a hybrid. Once the juice is gone in the Leaf, it stops. The Volt will keep going thanks to the gas powered motor. The Volt is similar to the Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Nissan Altima Hybrid (just in case you want to truly pit Chevrolet against Nissan).

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