Last week at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit, we spoke with Dr. Pete Savagian of General Motors about what the Chevrolet Volt's fuel economy sticker would look like. Last summer former GM CEO Fritz Henderson made a big splash when he announced that the Volt was getting approximately 230 miles-per-gallon combined. However, that number was based on a draft proposal by the EPA for a testing methodology for plug-in vehicles.
That proposal has never been made public, although it was believed to include running through the 11-mile test cycle repeatedly until the battery was depleted and then going through the cycle once more. The fuel consumption was then calculated based on the fuel used and the total miles driven. The 230 mpg figure drew a lot of criticism as being unrealistic, and for many drivers it would be. For others who drive short distances and charge regularly, it could actually be a conservative figure.
With only six months to go until Volt production begins, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the EPA still has not finalized the mileage calculation procedure for these vehicles. The results you get are highly dependent on the driving duty cycle and a panel discussion at the SAE Congress on the subject of ratings did little to clarify the subject. GM's Savagian is confident that the EPA will finalize a test and labeling procedure soon, however. And they'd better, because by law, all new cars are required to carry a MPG sticker.
[Source: The Wall Street Journal]