• Aug 11, 2009
In case you missed it this morning, General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson made some big news just one month after the "new" GM emerged from bankruptcy protection.

First of all, Henderson announced that the GM FastLane blog would now be used to solicit feedback on new designs directly from customers. Over the next two years, GM will be launching 25 new models in its four remaining "core" brands (Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC).

After the webcast ends, we'll going over to the design dome for a preview of the new large XTS and small ATS models from Cadillac. The latter will slot in below the CTS and be aimed directly at the BMW 3-series with rear- and all-wheel drive. The XTS is expected to be based on a stretched Epsilon II platform.

The biggest bombshell is Henderson's announcement that the "230" marketing campaign floating around for the past week is related to the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. The EPA has released a new methodology for determining a draft fuel economy standard for extended-range EVs like the Volt, and under this new procedure, the Volt will have a composite urban fuel economy rating of 230 mpg! On the electric side, the Volt will consume 25 kW-hours per 100 miles. That makes the Volt the first car ever to get a triple digit fuel economy rating.

According to Frank Weber, vehicle chief engineer for the Volt, the number is based on combined electric only driving and charge sustaining mode with the engine running. He declined to get specific about the proportions, but did say that the urban cycle would be predominantly EV only. The EPA has been studying real world vehicle usage and is developing the formulas to try and provide a representative number of what most customers could expect to achieve. In addition to the composite number, the new EPA stickers will likely also get numbers for mileage in charge sustaining mode and electric efficiency in EV mode.

Stay tuned for more news from this morning's event as it happens.



[Source: General Motors]


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  • 159 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      EVERYONE STOP CALLING IT AN ELECTRIC CAR ITS A HYBRID IT HAS BOTH GAS AND ELECTRIC MOTOR. The fact that it uses the electric motor first doesnt make it an electric car. And it only gets 40 miles on the electric motor, it still uses a gas generator, why not get rid of the the generator and its tank and put more batteries in it. For $40,000 you could convert your current car to get 400 miles on one charge.

      think about it $5000 for a warp 13" motor which at 72v could give you all the power you need but no voltage restriction considering you cool it properly then you have $1000 for a 1000amp peak controler then $1000 for charger and $33000 for the best batteries money can buy either lifepo4 or li ion batteries if you use the lifepo4 you probably could get about 400mile at 150 volts.

      this is all based on research to my own project which is an electric car the can burn rubber and do about 150mph
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lithium ion and Lithium iron phosphate batteries give you all the range you could need it just the fact that they are abit on the pricey side and you dont need a car that can go 400miles on a charge 90% of the population can do their daily driving on about 80miles. and the can be as fast as sports cars for a fraction of the price.
      • 5 Years Ago
      an electric car.... with 230 miles per GALLON.

      So nothing has changed, the actual range of the vehicle is still tiny, and this new number is due only to a change in EPA measurements.

      Awesome. Good job serving as GM's mouthpiece, Autoblog.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Bryan

        You are an IDIOT. Disconnect from this site and throw yourself off a bridge immediately. You naysayers are jealous that GM just put Toyota back to the stone age with building hybrids. The fact that you thought the Volt was an electric only vehicle shows that you really are a dumber than a rock. You're part of the reason why so many people have an unfavorable opinion toward GM, because you're blasting the company with incorrect information that you're pulling STRAIGHT OUT OF YOUR ASS.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What about Toyota and massive recalls?

        Engine sludge?

        Flexing frames?

        None of these beautiful, fun topics are mentioned - instead their HYBRID CAR EXPERIENCE, being the first mainstream hybrid to market and what-not, that is what is being mentioned, when comparing one HYBRID maker to another HYBRID maker.

        Nobody's mentioning that the Camry is one of the least-inspired and worst quality vehicles in it's segment and sells half a million units solely based on the false sense of quality and reliability that hasn't really been proven any time recently, and thus goes based on what somebody thinks happened a decade ago.

        Nobody's mentioning that Ford with it's new Fusion is beating the Camry Hybrid at it's own game, despite Ford being an underdog for god knows how many years now.

        Nobody's mentioning the horrible build quality, dash configuration or physical appearance of the Yaris, and how one and a half million of them were recalled earlier this year - and nobody is mentioning that you can get a Corolla, or Civic or Focus or whatever and maintain the Yaris' mileage up to 1 MPG, have much more car for the money, and not be driving such an ugly piece of crap.

        Learn2read.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You do realize that the Volt is a series hybrid, not a purely-electric vehicle, right?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't like your attitude, boy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't understand your complaint. How is 230 mpg a tiny range? Do you live 230 miles from work? Take your nonsense to another site.

        Thank you Autoblog for getting this info posted so quickly this morning. I'm impressed!
        • 5 Years Ago
        "According to Frank Weber, vehicle chief engineer for the Volt, the number is based on combined electric only driving, and charge sustaining mode with the engine running."

        When the engine is running, gasoline is used to produce the electricity neccessary to run the vehicle. This allows the vehicle to have a range in excess of 300 miles. When was the last time that you were able to drive 300 miles without having to stop and grab a snack or take a leak?

        I simply cannot understand why people are discrediting this achievement. GM did something good. Deal with it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Coolio Funny how whenever GM gets headlines some of you GM fanboys always have to suck Toyota into the conversation. I guess envy breeds comtempt. If GM were so dominant why would you compare it to a manufacturer that you continually badmouth? Your right GM is king, they know what they are doing. After all, your tax money is financing their future.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Tourian Since when has Toyota been annoited "Holy"? This is an accolade created by some bloggers that frequent this site. Why can't Toyota just be referred to as another manufacturer instead of all that? You and I know why...it's because of Toyota being Toyota, you know...Japanese...not "American" right? This is a good site until some "American made" flagwaving fanboy has to go there with the "holiness" thing. Holiness belongs in church or the Vatican. It's that flag waving garbage spawned from some of these blogger's insecurities as though Japan is covertly taking over our country through the sale of many American made Toyotas with Japanese "connections".
        I am a U.S. service veteran, 100% American and drive a Toyota.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow. I pretty much want this over any vehicle now. I'm a truck person and a sporty car person. This is the way to sway people.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A giant step ahead for the American auto industry.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm not sure I understand this correctly. I thought the EV range on the Volt was only about 40 miles. But 230 mpg would mean that I can drive it in the city for 230 miles while using only 1 gallon of gas. That means if the car comes with a 10 gallon tank, I could cruise around NYC for 2,300 consecutive miles without filling up? Someone please explain.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Quote from BoneHeadOtto:
        - "And i guarantee those last 10 miles drive completely differently than the first 40, ie with an anemic feeling electric motor." -

        Please explain.

        The Volt is driven 100% electrically anyhow. Difference is that for that 1st 40 miles, the battery alone supply the power. The gas engine recharges the battery to continue to power the car beyond the batteryy-only range. Secondly, regenerative braking also adds to the battery as well(recall this is a city rating). Third, the battery is never really run down, as in a 0% charge. Due to longevity reasons the battery is kept between about 20% and 80% of its capacity.

        In other words, there should be no reason for the performance to change regardless of whether or not the gas engine is running.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is more likely that it travels 57.5 miles per quarter gallon. I don't think the EPA draft cycle has been published to the public yet, but it does consider the electric and fuel cost over some mixed mode mixed climate city mode.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Snowdog: Come on now. Okay, so tell me, did Lee Harvey Oswald really act alone?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Im with Snowdog here. While i dont think it is a scam, it is a misrepresentation. I bet the EPA testing states that you record gas usage for 50 miles of city travel. So out of those 50 miles, only 10 are driven on gas. If you got 46mpg over those 10 miles, you would end up with the EPA estimate of 230mpg over 50 miles.

        And i guarantee those last 10 miles drive completely differently than the first 40, ie with an anemic feeling electric motor.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe someone can clear this up for me as I am no expert. But how exactly is the Volt, or all plug-in hybrids for that matter, better for the environment? I can see they will reduce the use of gasoline, but what about Greenhouse gas emissions?
      By what I can find on the EPA site, an average coal power plant produces around 2 pounds of CO2 per KWh. The volt uses 25 KWh/100 miles = 50 pounds of CO2 = 0.5 pounds of CO2 per mile? Is that right? I would say it is conservative due to not considering transmission losses and not considering the output of the gas engine. But again I am no expert.
      So I looked at CO2 emissions on various vehicles. The worst I could find was the VW Touareg V10 Diesel. It was 0.014 lbs of CO2 per mile. Seems to me if we all change to Plug-ins the CO2 will skyrocket.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Your numbers are off, 1 gallon = 20lbs of CO2 generated, so a car averaging 20 mpg (combined) emits 100lbs of CO2 in 100 miles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Q: How is the car different than the EV-1?
      A: The EV-1 had only an electric motor and older technology batteries, and had a 100 miles driving range. There was no onboard generator.

      Straight from the gm-volt website.
      Let us break that statement down..
      EV-1 = 100 mile range VS Volt = 40 mile range (Pure electric)
      EV-1 = Old technology VS Volt = State of the art
      EV-1 = No generator VS Volt = Needs generator

      What I see; Re-instate the EV-1 with OLD(what???) technology and a generator in a four door format. They had the tech, the research was done. But it was trashed? Started new and got worse? Yes, safety features add LBS to the car, but you're telling me new battery technology can not over come this?

      40 miles on pure electric is garbage, I beleive the public demands better.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So far the public hasn't demanded EVs much at all.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This 230 number is bogus. It's cheating.

      Electricity isn't free. You can't place a MPG rating on a vehicle unless it's _only_ powered by gas. If you didn't charge the volt ( I know that's the point of an electric vehicle ) then what would the MPG rating be if the internal combustion engine was the only source of power for the batteries/electric engine.

      What if you had a vehicle that was powered by gasoline and Compressed Natural Gas. You would have to regularly fill up the CNG tank along with the gasoline tank. By claiming that this vehicle got twice the MPG rating of another gas only car, while it's power source is half gas and half some other fuel ( CNG, electricity ) is a fraudulent claim by the manufacturer.

      Because some people will have a short commute and recharge the volt every night, then the MPG rating would be infinite. What a deal!! a MPG infinite car!! That's a lot better than 20 MPG, right?

      People usually don't think of how much electricity is per unit, and how many units of electricity it takes to drive an electric vehicle per mile. But they know that gas costs $2.70 right now. I'd like to see a real world test that would tell how much it costs to operate the Volt ( when you get the electric bill, and how much gas if any you purchased ) for a month, as compared to how much it costs to operate another ( gas ) vehicle for a month.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Every time I refresh theirs three more comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      For those who correctly argue that electrical systems and AC will rob VOLT of range, you are correct. Consider though, that if one buys the car in white then it will be cooler in the sun and so will require less AC. If you drive in the day you don't use the lights. If you listen to the radio on low volume, it uses less electricity.

      The key point is that VOLT buyers are no dummies. They are a self selecting elite who understand all the caveats.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Using EPA standards, Nissan Leaf is expected to get 367 mpg.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great news that makes all the D-bags on here angry ...... Yes !
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