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AutoBlog: EPA backs away from GM claim of 230 mpg for Volt

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Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Government/Legal, Chevrolet, GM, Alternative Fuel

2011-chevy-volt.jpg
2011 Chevy Volt - Click above for high-res image gallery

Apparently, we're not the only ones trying to figure out the exact methodology that was used to determine the supposed 230 mile per gallon city rating claimed by General Motors for the upcoming Chevy Volt. In response to a query from the boys at Green Car Advisor, the EPA issued the following statement:
EPA has not tested a Chevy Volt and therefore cannot confirm the fuel economy values claimed by GM. EPA does applaud GM's commitment to designing and building the car of the future - an American-made car that will save families money, significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create good-paying American jobs. We're proud to see American companies and American workers leading the world in the clean energy innovations that will shape the 21st century economy.

Although it deserves noting that GM CEO Fritz Henderson didn't exactly say the 230 mpg rating was an official figure from the EPA, it sure is being bandied about as if it were gospel in the huge marketing campaign launched ahead of today's announcement.

When contacted for comment, GM told AutoblogGreen that the EPA is not backing away from the 230 numbers and that it's unlikely that the EPA will come out with a much lower number when they actually get to run a Volt through the official cycle. Further, GM believes that coming out with the 230 rating at this point in time is one way to change people's perception of what kind of car the Volt is.

Gallery: 2011 Chevy Volt

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[source: EPA via Green Car Advisor]

EPA backs away from GM claim of 230 mpg for Volt originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 11 Aug 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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And the magic number comes back to bite GM in the ass ... again, only to draw blood.

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A little more thought really should have gone into this.

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Honestly, I feel two values should have been given for this. I would have driven the car from full to empty in city driving. Then I would average that and give that as an overall number. But I would boast the hell out of 40-mile pure electric radius. People are just going to bash the $h! out of GM when the number the EPA gives is much lower. Granted, I bet it will still be impressive.

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aaaaaaaannnd they're off! its negative press in the lead followed by false advertising naysayers in second, here comes anti-domestic spin in third... WHAT THIS?!?!? I told you so has come out of no where to challenge the front runners!!!!

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aaaaaaaannnd they're off! its negative press in the lead followed by false advertising naysayers in second, here comes anti-domestic spin in third... WHAT THIS?!?!? I told you so has come out of no where to challenge the front runners!!!!

Post of the year. The media has been doing their best to piss on the Volt parade since the concept debuted. They just can't handle the fact that GM beat their precious Japan Inc.

Hopefully the real people can see through the fog of bull$h!. I'm sure GM will sell plenty Iof them.

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That 230 mpg number seemed bogus from the beginning, though. Wait until they have a production model available, then determine it's real mileage. This smells like a PFA.

Rob

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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These GM guys are so stupid. Seriously, will someone who HAS NEVER LIVED IN DEE-TROIT PLEASE TAKE OVER THE COMPANY?!?

Marketing 101: How to fail--make promises you can't keep. EVEN IF the EPA comes out with ~230, GM should be releasing the ACTUAL figure of the car. BECAUSE THAT'S THE HONEST THING TO DO.

f@#king retards. It's like they haven't even thought it through enough to know that anyone who buys one is gonna figure it out pretty quickly.

Edited by Croc
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EPA does applaud GM's commitment to designing and building the car of the future - an American-made car that will save families money, significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create good-paying American jobs.

How is $40,000 a pop going to save anyone money?

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How is $40,000 a pop going to save anyone money?

Markedly reduced fuel costs.

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Markedly reduced fuel costs.

Allright well i'll just get a little Focus that gets 35mpg mixed. Lets see... in... 268,333 miles i will have paid off the difference assuming the batteries never need to be replaced and my Focus cost $17,000.

Now i drive MAYBE at most 8,000 miles a year so that will only take me 33 years to pay off.

Neat.

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Allright well i'll just get a little Focus that gets 35mpg mixed. Lets see... in... 268,333 miles i will have paid off the difference assuming the batteries never need to be replaced and my Focus cost $17,000.

Now i drive MAYBE at most 8,000 miles a year so that will only take me 33 years to pay off.

Neat.

Don't forget the privilege of wearing your eco-consciousness on your sleeve.

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They need to state the driving that would accomplish the 230 MPG. Is this based on a weeks driving and charging the Volt nightly or one day until the tank runs dry? Assuming a nightly charge and the 40 miles EV range in a week it would travel a much greater distance on one tank of gas than only getting the first 40 miles EV then going to the end of the tank in one day with no opportunity to recharge.

Another consideration that each person could make is how far do you drive on a daily basis with a full charge each night. I drive about 75 miles per day round trip for work meaning 35 miles per day on the gas. I wonder how many gallons I would need for the 5 day work week? Using the 230 MPG combined then I should only use about 1.6 gallons.

Edited by redtruck
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Don't forget the privilege of wearing your eco-consciousness on your sleeve.

Yea until this fad wears off and then theres another one to try out. Now if this was Toyota we were talking about here this wouldn't even be an issue...

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Another consideration that each person could make is how far do you drive on a daily basis with a full charge each night. I drive about 75 miles per day round trip for work meaning 35 miles per day on the gas. I wonder how many gallons I would need for the 5 day work week? Using the 230 MPG combined then I should only use about 1.6 gallons.

According to GM it is "up to 40 miles" per charge. But that is without AC (as per GM), and most certainly at moderate temps and no heater. It is also most likely city and highway will be worse. When GM annonced the 230MPG city (no mention of highway) they also mentioned the EPA's electrical efficieny rating for the Volt. As some astitute readers noted, that rating gived the Volt an electric range of 32 miles in the city.

So if you are driving 75 miles per day I would expect that some of that is highway and you ould only be getting high 20's electric.

But assuming you did get 32 miles/day electric, and the Volt manages to get 40 MPG on the ICE, over a 5 day work week (assuming you did not do any extra driving) you would use 5.4 gallons of gas and 40KWh of electricity. That is probably $3.50+ in electricity (depending on your local rates).

With a Prius you would use ~7.5 gallons.

If we assumed that you drove 75 miles/day, everyday, that would give you ~27,400 miles/year, ~11,700 would be electric (remember to plug in every night!), and ~15,700 would be on gas. @ 40 MPG that is ~393 gallons or ~70 MPG gas + ~$300 in electricity.

If you took GM's PR the way they want you to, you should assume that at 230MPG you would use ~120 gallons. So in your case the 230MPG is accurate, give or take 325% (totally ignoring the cost of electricity).

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