G.M.: Chevy Volt Gets 230 M.P.G

General Motors announced on Tuesday morning that its Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car had delivered a fuel-economy rating of 230 miles a gallon — which sounds outrageous. With that kind of gas mileage, you could practically drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on a single gallon of gas, or for around $3.


Gee I’d like to see Exxon begging for customers.

I told my Dad and he said it’s not true you can only drive it 40 miles at a time i.e. Los Angeles to Las Vegas is impossible. I tried explaining that doesn’t mean it can only go 40 a stop but he just talked over me.

My Father is alergic to good news.

Now if they could just get the price down so a few people other than the very rich could afford it, they’d have a winner. The advertised a KIA Reo on tv this morning for
$3,200 after cash for clunkers and company rebate, so I’ll take that instead of buying a $40000 experimental car.

This is great news. I hope it’s affordable.

I will wait until the third or fourth generation of the cars come out. By that time, they will be affordable and the “recharge” capability may be partially automatic w/o plugging it in (i.e. a solar battery built into the skin of the car).

Folks, you might want to take a few moments and read the entire article. The next paragraph in the article says:

But, of course, you wouldn’t be able to do that. G.M. said the 230 number is only for city driving, and it’s not based on the same measurement standard used to calculate the fuel economy of gas-engine or hybrid cars.

In other words, it’s all just make believe.

the 230 mpg is a little misleading. It doesn’t take into account the amount of electricity used to charge the car every night. You get infinite mile per gal for the first 80 miles than about 60 mpg on the small gas limp home engine when it kicks in. I am sure that the cost of charging is less than the cost of gas, but it is not free.

Your dad is more correct then you are giving him credit for. The 230 MPG was if you kept your driving mostly within the range of the battery charge and with light use of the gas engine. That is why they refer only to “city driving”. You wouldn’t get anywhere near that kind of mileage trying to drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

The car has a dual engine, but the gas engine does not propel the car, it generates the energy to charge the battery (similar to a deisel electric submarine). And it’s battery can only travel 40 miles on a full charge. While it can go further than 40 miles (with the gas engine charging the battery) the engine can’t keep the battery charged enough to run at highway speeds much beyond 100 miles. Then you have to stop and plug in or travel at slower speeds allowing the charger to keep up with electric usage.

If you never leave the city the Volt might work for you as a commuter car. But if you travel on the highway much you would need a second car - making the $40,000 price tag that much more expensive.

From what I understand, the problem with this is that the battery may only last 10 years and costs thousands of dollars to replace (I think $10K). What would that do to the re-sale value of these cars if it’s so expensive to replace the battery?

I would never buy one until they got that little “quirk” worked out. I’d hate to be stuck with a ten year old car that needs a $10K battery. Ouch.

It makes me wonder what other parts on that car would be insanely expensive to replace?

If you live in a 3rd floor apartment, where would you plug it in to recharge? :confused:

By the time the average consumer will be able to afford this car, they will have one that gets 10,000 mpg.

They said on the news charging it is about 40 cents a day. From what I understand it doesn’t switch over to using gasoline until you drive more than 40 miles. So if you drive less than 40 miles in a day, it won’t use gas. The news said something like 80 percent of people drive their cars less than 40 miles per day. Even if you drive more than 40, the first 40 does not use any gasoline so that’s still a significant savings if the way they are stating things is accurate.

Hi guys,

Long time lurker, first time poster. The above post claiming that the range of the volt is only 100 miles in highway driving is likely inaccurate. Everything I’ve read states that the range is around 300 miles, similar to a gas-only vehicle’s range.

The interesting thing about these mpg “estimates” is that this is the first time where a driver could theoretically beat them the majority of the time. Think about it, have you ever driven your vehicle and actually made the published mpg let alone beat it?

With the volt, based on typical driving behaviors, 80% of the population would get infinite gas mileage because their commutes are less than the 40-mile electric range. My concern would be the build-up of stale gas.

Pretty neat stuff though.

I didn’t say the range was a 100 miles. I said the range was 100 miles at HIGHWAY SPEEDS. The gas engine can not charge the battery as fast as it uses energy at 70 MPH. However in stop and go city traffic the battery is constantly charging even while the car is not moving. If the gas engine were big enough to charge the battery at the same rate it was being used at highway speed your fuel mileage would suffer greatly - it would have a mileage similar to Prius since it is doing the same amount of work.

When comparing to the “standard” EPA method of evaluation fuel mileage at highway speeds the Volt is expected to make about 100 MPG - with 40 miles of that being carried by a full charge and the next 60 being covered by the charge from the gas engine. There was no estimate made on the fuel mileage of the next 100 miles (if you didn’t recharge the battery from a wall outlet).


The most interesting part:

GM has offered its own caution about the risk associated with the Volt. The model “has not yet proven to be commercially viable,” according to a regulatory filing last week. **The technology required to power the car may not be developed in time for its planned 2010 debut, the automaker said. **

The estimate is based on technology that does not yet exist.

When I lived in much colder climes, people used to have to plug their cars in at night to keep the engine blocks from freezing. People who used parking structures at apartment complexes would find stategically located plugs for thier cars.

I would imagine that these would work for cars like the Volt too. If the electricity use was larger, they could be metered or pay-as-you go like the charging stations for cell phones you see in the airports.

Now, if you rely on on-street parking, you might have a greater challenge. :frowning:

I’m amazed at how much misinformation and guesses phrased as facts revolve around this car.

From what I’ve read, the press release is based on GM testing according to (but not observed and approved by) the EPA for new CAFE rules coming out that account for all this future tech stuff. By definition, the test MUST make some assumptions about what City driving is like in order to test the mileage. If YOUR driving isn’t like the assumptions, you won’t get that mileage. Very simple. But I read that they ARE taking electricity costs into account. An article about the upcoming all-electric Nissan Leaf said it will likely get an equivalent four hundred something mpg under the proposed EPA testing regime. It uses NO gas, but is still rated in equivalent gas mpg.

Now I’M guessing. I would expect that the EPA would look at average commutes and design the test for something slightly worse than the average commute. But that’s me. Personally, I have always been able to hit my EPA highway mpg estimates, but i don’t use AC much and am not a speed demon. The newer EPA mpg ratings are easy to hit - no hypermiling required.

The Volt is the technological best of both worlds. It is NOT a pure electric car that becomes a temporary paperweight when the battery is exhausted. Nor is it a conventional hybrid that gets only a modest mpg boost around town. You can use it in short city trips and use NO gas. Or you can hit the road and drive normally from LA to Las Vegas just stopping for gas as usual. Those long trips won’t get you impressive gas mileage, probably 40mpg (guessing!) or so, but you don’t have to stop and recharge, the engine will make enough juice to power the car indefinately (as long as there are gas stations!). It won’t tow your travel trailer of course, but it makes plenty of juice for steady 65mph freeway cruising.

I put 20,000 miles a year on cars, mostly within the Chicago Metro area with occasional longer trips. Even if I ONLY average 80 mpg equivalent on a Volt I’d be saving $1,673 a year in gas costs versus a 23mpg car (gas $2.70). If it lasts 200k miles, that’s a lotta gas savings. People predicted battery cost doom and gloom with the conventional hybrids too (me among them). We were dead wrong, those batteries have proven to be quite reliable. I have hope that the naysayers are wrong again, but I admit that I’m not wealthy enough to be the guinea pig.

My brother in law has a Toyota Prius that he drives in his work. He averages 37mpg in combined city and country driving. We have a Ford Focus that averages 35mpg in all around driving. The avaliability of service and parts to me, makes the Ford a lot better deal. We live in rural area 50 miles away from any Toyota dealers. As far as the Volt, the price tag would scare away the average buyer.I’m not that green.

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