Now that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has an agreement with General Motors regarding how to measure the fuel mileage of the 2011 Chevy Volt, our attention turns to the EPA, which now has to decide what official mileage rating will appear on the new car's window sticker and how to determine what that number will be. The first recommendation comes from the Automotive X-Prize, the foundation of which will award $10 million from Progressive Insurance to the winner of its competition to design a production-viable car that people would want to drive that gets 100 MPGe or more.
What's with that little 'e' after the familiar miles per gallon? Basically, the X-Prize crew wants to convert all units of energy to a figure that's equivalent to the power from a gallon of gas. That way, a car's powerplant – regardless of where it gets that energy from – earns a rating that can be easily compared with everything else. So, EPA, the ball's in your court... still.
Psst - GM, maybe you should enter the Volt in the X-Prize competition. Just a thought.