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Chevy Releases New Video Explaining The EPA's Volt Rating

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On: Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 5:54PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Releases New Video Explaining The EPA's Volt Rating

For well over a year, the world waited to see how the EPA would classify mileage ratings for new plug-in vehicles like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf. In one ear, we had company officials showing off overblown numbers like 230 mpg and 367 mpg. And in the other ear, we had those folks that know a little better reminding us that electric vehicles don't really get any miles to the gallon per se. Because there are no gallons in an EV. Meanwhile, the EPA basically told us to wait until it could formulate a proper measurement for plug-in vehicles with electric-only capabilities.

Last month the EPA answered the toll with a rating that it calls "MPG equivalent (MPGe)," a measurement that takes both all-electric and gasoline driving into account. Seeing as how this figure is a little different than the standard "mpg" rating you've come to know and love, GM has taken the opportunity to detail the EPA's new rating system in a video about the Volt.

As Chevy explains, the experts at the EPA broke electricity down into the amount that it would take to equal the same energy of one gallon of gasoline. That number is 33.7 kWh. The agency was then able to offer a mpg-style rating in terms of electric power.

The EPA first released ratings for the Nissan Leaf, which is an all-electric vehicle without a gas motor. That car gets 99 mpg-e. A week later, the EPA followed up with the Volt's rating. Since the Volt has both a motor and an engine, it has two separate ratings: 37 mpg for gasoline driving and 93 mpg-e for all-electric driving. When the EPA factored those together, it came up with a combined composite rating of 60 mpg.

While the Nissan faired better in the mpg department, the Volt's powertrain provides a vastly superior range of 379 miles versus the Leaf's 73 miles.

Watch GM's video to get a better idea of how the EPA's figures will relate to the Volt's performance and fuel costs over time:


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