• Nov 17, 2010
The first batch of production Chevy Volts are ready to ship, they're just waiting on the EPA to issue an official mileage label. General Motors global product chief Tom Stephens told Automotive News that the required sticker certifying the Volt's miles per gallon rating is expected "any day," and that's a requirement before the vehicles can head out the door. As we reported a few weeks ago, when the 2011 Fuel Economy guide was released by the EPA and DOE, the Volt just missed being included in the publication because, as the EPA stated, "no 2011 model year electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have completed testing as of publication of this list." The Toyota Prius was again listed as the most fuel efficient available in the U.S., but we'll soon be able to see where the Volt stands in terms of official fuel economy.

The Volt, named Motor Trend magazine's 2011 Car of the Year, can run 25 to 50 miles on battery only and an additional 310 miles when assisted by the gasoline engine. GM is pushing through with its plans of producing 10,000 Volts through 2011 and 45,000 in 2012.

[Source: Automotive News]


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  • 36 Comments
      • 20 Hours Ago
      Or we could just junk the EPA and let people buy cars because they like them or not.

      I know, sacrilege, suggesting that people do things without the government's "help."
      • 20 Hours Ago

      If I were King, I would suggest that the EPA abandon MPGe and use Miles per 100 kW-hr as the units of electric vehicle fuel economy. Using kW-hr would result in somewhat small numbers. Using the inverse, kW-hr/mile is also bad because most people are not used to think of "better" numbers getting smaller. We like to think of bigger numbers for our measurement represent a better performance. The most common measure for "goodness" of a system is the ratio of "output" / "input". Thus, if our output is miles, and our input is electricity, we stick with the first definition above. Inverse measurements are equally valid, but would be more confusing to the public.

      And with regards to the choice of 100-kW-hr in the denominator, this is because electricity runs between $0.06 and $0.12 per kW hr, 100 kW-hr represents between $6 and $12 of electricity. Equating that to miles will be quite manageable and intuitive, with no need to convert from energy content equivalent of fuel - to - electricity.
      • 20 Hours Ago
      After 4 years of hype, they miss the EPA's publication date.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        Um, NO! The EPA still hasn't determined their testing parameters!!! This is the fault of the EPA, NOT GM@!
        • 20 Hours Ago
        There is a draft to the testing standards already.
      • 20 Hours Ago
      Get off you a$$ EPA and slap a sticker on there. Let those volts hit the road!
        • 20 Hours Ago
        I'm sure the reason the EPA is taking so long is because GM has a battalion of lobbyists pressing them to produce a sticker that makes the Volt look good and its competitors poor, while the other auto makers are lobbying in favor of their own plug-in cars' characteristics.
      • 20 Hours Ago
      I disagree. Most people don't know what kw-hr translates to in terms of miles driven. There should be multiple ratings for Plug in Hybrid type vehicles.
      1. How far on a single charge with City driving.
      2. How far on a single charge with Highway driving.
      3. MPG with engine on in city driving.
      4. MPG with engine on in highway driving.

      Before wanting to buy a Volt I want to know the MPG of the engine as well.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        I think this metric makes by far the most sense.

        2011 Chevrolet Volt

        Electric Range
        25 miles city / 50 miles hwy

        Range Extender Mileage
        27 mpg city / 40 mpg hwy

        Done and done.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        Way to spin the article into your anti-GM machine.

        The EPA is the one who is behind the 8 ball, not GM. Your reading comprehension is fail.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        They should give all those 4 PLUS

        The mileage that you will get if you drive like a typical American driver (which should be defined) and you charge every night.

        I know, that won't apply to every one (your mileage may vary) BUT IT IS A VERY IMPORTANT STATISTIC!
        • 20 Hours Ago
        Saint; that's exactly how they should rate it.

        city/hwy miles per kWh on battery, and city/hwy miles per gallon on gas

        Not that hard. Besides, any other number is nonsense since you could get anywhere from 20mpg to 999999999999999999mpg in this car.

        Miles per kWh is going to be important too. This will vary quite a bit with electric cars. We need to measure the efficiency of the electric drivetrain too. It can't be forgotten, lest automakers sell us electricity guzzlers.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        Exactly....
        City/hwy distance for after full electric charge and
        MPG for City/hwy for ICE use

        After battery charge:
        City: ?? Miles
        Hwy: ?? Miles

        Extended Range using ICE:
        City: ?? MPG
        Hwy: ?? MPG
      • 4 Years Ago
      A single MPG figure doesn't make any sense for a plug-in hybrid like the Volt. A driver doing ten 30 mile trips and plugging in at the end of the day will use little if any gasoline, while someone covering the same difference in a single 300 mile trip will use 8-9 gallons or so.

      The best way to rate plug in hybrids a miles per kw-hr for when it is run under electrical power on the city and highway tests, and a mpg ratings ran when the batteries are drained for the same test. And have the miles per kw-hr test done for BEV as well. It would also be nice to list the battery range of the car under the city and highway drive cycles as well.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        @John H
        Actually it is GM's fault. That's how they programmed their MPG screen even though they know EPA hasn't finalized mpg ratings. They are also the only car maker to do a huge advertising campaign with preliminary numbers which they know is likely to change.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        @ Paul... that screen in the Volt is reporting back on how many miles you've driven for every gallon of gas you've burnt. That's the full story, i don't see what your problem is with that. If you're worried that people aren't gonna realize it costs money to plug the thing in, you're not giving them enough credit. That screen is not lying in any way. For GM to shout out a 300mpg number to everyone as though this is what everyone will get if they drive this car, that's more deceitful, in that the results totally depend from one person to the next. But the screen dividing miles by gallon is not a lie.

        @Spec, I agree that getting a cost equivalency between kWh and Gallons of gas would be helpful, but that would be rough when you consider changing energy prices. Can you imagine if conventional vehicles were rated in terms of $/100miles instead of mpg, and the ratings all had to be updated every time there was a significant change in fuel prices? I think MPGe can be a good way of summing it up for a quick one number comparison. People can strain their brains for a second and figure out their electricity costs from a kWh/100miles number pretty quickly. We're all familiar with $/gallon, why can't we also handle knowing $/kWh, we all pay that on a monthly basis anyways. I know i pay about $0.06/kWh.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        @Jeff

        I agree that KWH/mile is a great statistic. Just multiply your local $/KHW to get $/mile. O the inverse . . . give mile/KWH and let them divide it by $/KWH to get miles/$.

        But the MPGe figure? That is useless. It just throws in a constant that people don't care about.

        1 MPGE = 1/115,000 miles/BTU
        ≈ 1/33.7032 miles/kW·h
        ≈ 1/20.9422 km/kW·h
        ≈ 1/75.3919 km/MJ
        • 20 Hours Ago
        @John H, right because the EPA told them how to program the volts mileage screen. They were right there looking over the shoulders of the programmers watching every line of code as it was typed. They even chose the colors!

        The real reason why the real mileage hasn't been released yet is because the extended-range mileage is so horrible that GM is embarrassed to talk about it. They will put forward any other volt information to hype its release but they don't want to talk about its actual mileage.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        Or we could just use GMs simplistic approach and ignore electricity inputs when calculating mileage, for instance if you start with a full charge and drive 75 miles and burn 1 gallon of gas that means you got 75mpg.

        Simple, Easy, Wrong, its new math from the new GM.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        This isn't GM's fault. The fault lies with the geniuses at the EPA.

        You know, the brilliant folks who're pushing E15 and other nonsense down our throats.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        I think the MPGe statistic is TERRIBLE. No-one has an intuitive feel of what the 'equivalent' is. And what matters to people is the equivalent in COST not energy. And cost is tough since electricity prices vary so much across the nation.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        or we could just pay attention to these kinds of things:
        http://www.autoblog.com/2010/08/30/new-fuel-economy-labels-proposed-by-epa-and-dot/

        As you can see, the EPA has decided on an equivalency between grid electricity and gasoline with their MPGe. On pure electricity, it seems that most electric cars will achieve around 100 MPGe.
      • 20 Hours Ago
      I guess that this car won't be sold in november 2010 like they said.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        I have a lot of money-stakes on the car industry and autobloggreen is our reference. So if a volt is sold to a paying customer this november for regular cash then i might losing 6 dollars approx.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        If this really were "Government Motors", and the Feds were actively trying to support the IPO (to get our money back), you'd think that they'd have found a way to get the Volt on dealer lots *today*.

        "Buy a share, buy a Volt - either way, we've got something new for everyone"
        • 20 Hours Ago
        Again, They always claimed a 4th Quarter 2010 launch(which it is). The only solid date they gave was Nov. 11th when the production was scheduled to kick off. Officially, they built the first customer car on Nov. 9th.

        http://www.autoblog.com/2010/09/01/official-chevrolet-volt-production-begins-november-11/

        Please show a link to where GM stated they would be on sale by Nov. 2010.
      • 20 Hours Ago
      Will HWY mpg in extended range break 40??? Probably not. But most people don't care.

      I side with the guys who are saying this should not be so tough. Just give me kwh/mi in EV mode for both city and Hwy. Give me range in EV mode for city and Hwy. and give me MPG in ER mode for city and HWY. What is so frigin tough about it EPA??

      You can all expect around 300-320 kwh/mi for EV mode. This number will include charger efficiency. It will be based on kwh out of the wall NOT kwh out of the battery once the vehicle is charged.

      Current Consumer Advisory Board data indicates a charger efficiency of 86% (for the 220V charger). I expect worse for the 110 charger but would like to see the data.

      For any of you guys interested in the CAB reports go here:
      http://www.gmvoltcab.com/

      This site includes all the CAB driver reports, not just reports from GM-Volt.com.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        "Will HWY mpg in extended range break 40??? Probably not. But most people don't care."

        Actually once there are more PHEVs to compare to they will care. It is important the figures given by the EPA can be used directly to make comparisons between cars for a wide variety of driving mixes.

        Figures required:
        kWh/100 miles city/highway
        range city/highway
        MPG with depleted battery city/highway

        There can be some kind of formula used to give a summary figure, but those figures need to be on the sticker even if in finer print.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        Most people will care about the sub-standard gas engine mileage. If they don't care about it, they would have bought the Nissan Leaf.
      • 20 Hours Ago
      "The real reason why the real mileage hasn't been released yet is because the extended-range mileage is so horrible that GM is embarrassed to talk about it."

      That's BS. GM hasn't sold any Volts, but they've lent out a large number of them to various bloggers and journalists. Detailed information on real world experience with production Volts is just a Google search away.

      Not only is GM willing to talk about it, they are putting their cars where their mouth is.
      • 20 Hours Ago
      Eh, just slap the big 230 on the window and call it done. People who are interested in the Volt at this point in time will know better, the average American will never look at the figure anyway.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        Here the article where chevy admits that 10kWh is needed to fully charge the battery.
        http://gm-volt.com/2010/10/08/chevrolet-volt-uses-more-than-8-kwh-of-stored-battery-energy-to-achieve-ev-range/
        • 20 Hours Ago
        The average American won't look at the details behind the figure, that is true.

        But a statistical model based on typical monthly drive patterns could be used to model City / Highway / Mixed vs Mixed-use Battery Range to calculate a typical mpg equivalent.

        So the Volt could be presented like this:
        . 230 mpge overall
        . 40 miles & 30 mpg combined
        . 25 to 50 mile range
        . 38 mpg City / 35 mpg Highway
        each piece in progressively finer print.

        With a single sticker to rule them all, so gas-only cars show a big fat zero for non-gas range (pure EVs have a zero for gas-burning mpg) - this allows clear comparisions between all flavors of cars.
        • 20 Hours Ago
        But the volt doesn't get 230mpg even in the best case senario of only driving it short distances daily when the battery has charge.

        Average max EV range: 40 miles
        electricity needed to charge from empty: 10kWh
        1 gallon of gas is about 36kWh so 10kWh is .2778 gallons of gas.

        40miles/.2778gale = 144mpge
        This should be its listed mileage in EV-mode, the extended range mileage is considerably worse.
      • 20 Hours Ago
      I feel bad for the EPA. This must be such a big can of worms. No matter what they come up with, people will complain. Good luck.
      • 20 Hours Ago
      How about ignore the gas consumption and report only kWh used?

      Drive 300 miles and Volt will only use 10 kWh. Awesome! ;)
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