The 2011 Chevy Volt is, in several ways, like every other car on the road. Four wheels, four doors, a steering wheel... but not every vehicle has a gas engine, electric motor, massive lithium ion battery and a spot to plug into the wall. It's a bit complicated at first, and perhaps more so when looking at the Environmental Protection Agency's official fuel economy figures.
The EPA tells us that the Volt averages 35 miles on an electric charge, but that number can vary anywhere from 25 to 50 miles depending on the conditions. In gas-only mode, the Volt manages 37 miles per gallon. Combine a full tank of gas with a maxed-out electric charge and you can travel a total of 379 miles. Then there is the EPA equation that compares the cost of electricity compared to the typical cost of gasoline, with a resulting efficiency estimation of 93 MPGe. That's miles per gallon equivalent. All-told, the EPA gave the Volt a 60 mpg combined score. So... we're looking at mpg numbers of 37, 93 and 60 mpg. And 35 miles with virtually no gas whatsoever, but really it's between 25 and 50 miles.
You know what... we can explain this until we're blue in the face, but we probably won't do as well as the 2:20 video that is available after the jump. General Motors breaks down the EPA's Mensa label in a language just about anyone can understand. Click through and enjoy.