Consumer Reports test driver Eric Evarts got behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Volt last week and rolled it into action as he set out to write a thorough review of GM's "halo car" (or is that helium?). Anyway, Evarts put the Volt to the test and did a fine job writing up yet another stellar review of Chevy's much-anticipated plug-in hybrid. Consumer Reports drew up a spec sheet for the Volt and listed the Volt's gas tank size at nine gallons. This is dramatically smaller than the 12 gallon size reported years ago, but substantially larger than should be required to hit the Volt's claimed 300 miles in extended-range mode.
Running some numbers, the Volt's nine-gallon tank should provide nearly 400 miles of range, provided that the miles per gallon rating in extended-range mode is near the 44 mpg mark. If 44 mpg sounds too high, then range should at least eclipse 360 miles if the mpg rating in extended-range mode is closer to 40. The only scenario in which range would be limited to just 300 miles in extended-range mode would require a mpg rating in the low-30s and we just can't fathom that GM would be content with that number. Best case scenario, the Volt hits 50 mpg in range-extended mode and adds 40 miles or more on battery power, bringing the total range to nearly 500 miles. Of course, GM has yet to disclose some important specs that would help us determine the total range, but we'll go out on a limb and say that 350 total miles will be at least a hair below the Volt's actual range.