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Chevrolet Volt Gets 93 MPG EPA Rating

2011 Chevrolet Volt

The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is one of the most interesting plug-in hybrids launched this year and today it was an interesting day for the hybrid as it received not one but three different EPA ratings today. Running exclusively on the electric engine, the Volt is capable of doing 93 mpg, which is quite impressive, very similar to the Nissan Leaf (99 mpg) which will be available for sale in five states, starting with December.  Using only the gasoline engine, the Volt is capable of doing 37 mpg and combining both engines, the Chevy will do an equivalent of 60 mpg, according to the EPA ratings.

The General Motors Co. has been showcasing the Chevrolet Volt for four years now as a revolutionary car in terms of the technology implemented. The American compact is capable of driving on the electric engine alone and is able to offer an extra driving range thanks to the 1.4-liter conventional gasoline power unit. The Volt already won various important awards, including the one for the “Green Car Journal’s Car of the Year.”

The EPA ratings show us that the Chevy offers a 35 miles range on electricity and 379 miles autonomy, using both the electric and the gasoline engines. The officials at General Motors affirmed that the car can do 35 to 50 miles with a full battery charge. During a conference call today with the press, GM’s vehicle line executive in charge of the Volt, Doug Parks – “We have said that the range is variable on how you drive.”

According to EPA, the Chevrolet Volt belongs to the compact automobile segment, next to the Toyota Corolla, the Chevrolet Cruze and the Ford Focus. The Volt’s EPA mpg ratings are at this moment the best in its class. Due to the reason that the technology used in the Volt is not available from another manufacturer, EPA came up with another mileage label with direct input from General Motors.

Scott Miller who is the vehicle performance manager for the Chevrolet Volt said that “The label helps customers understand the uniqueness of the Volt and how it applies to their routine.” Although the Volt is the only car at the moment to feature this type of label, in the near future it is most likely that other cars with similar powertrains will have this kind of label, according to Parks.

2011 Chevrolet Volt EPA Rating

The label shows “charging routines” which approximates the cost for gasoline and electricity based upon the number of miles driven between two charges. To give a relevant example, a Volt driver living in an urban area that usually travels 30 miles between charges, would not use gasoline at all (according to the estimates made by EPA). In this situation, the automobile will consume 10.9 kW of electricity for an estimated cost of about 4c / mile. A Volt driver that uses a car for 75 miles will consume 12.9 kilowatts for the electricity and the rest for the gasoline giving a combined result of 7 cents / mile.

General Motor’s global product chief, Tom Stephens, said earlier this month that the Volt would start shipping to the dealerships as soon as possible after EPA issues a mileage label for the car. However, Park did not give any exact date about when the shipping of the Volt will actually start. The Hamtrack assembly plant in Detroit owned by General Motors has been building Volts since early November and the first cars will be sold in Michigan, California; Austin, Texas; Washington D.C. and metropolitan New York. Starting with 2010, the Volt will be available for sale in the entire United States. The base price for the Chevy will be $41,000 (including the shipping taxes and without the $7,500 federal tax credit).

Stephenes affirmed that the Chevrolet Volt is the most aerodynamic vehicle that was ever created by General Motors. Officials at the company affirmed that the automobile can travel 25 up to 50 miles running only with the battery and can offer an extra 310 miles of autonomy when the car is assisted by the 1.4-liter engine.

He also said that The Volt “does everything we said it was going to do the very first day we announced it — and more. If you recall back then how many people were saying that they don’t even have a battery, they don’t have motors or any of this, can this be real? The fact is it is real and you can drive it now.”

Stephens declared that General Motors is planning on producing about 10,000 units next year and 45,000 cars in 2012. These figures are not set in stone, because depending on the ability of the supplier to provide parts for the vehicle and the customer demand, the figures might change accordingly.