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Motor Trend Gets Serious Fuel Economy From The Chevy Volt

Posted in auto industry, Chevrolet, Electric Cars, General, Hybrid, Hybrid Technologies, Newsworthy by Kurt Ernst | October 15th, 2010 | 4 Responses |

2011 Chevy Volt

What is the sound of one hand clapping? If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it really make noise? Add to that list of zen-inspired question, what kind of fuel economy does the Chevy Volt achieve? Chevy originally claimed 200 MPG, until the EPA dis-allowed their numbers. A few months back, a tester for Translogic claimed to see a dismal 27.3 MPG, a claim that was quickly refuted by Chevy. Until now, we knew only this with some certainly: the Volt would get much better fuel economy than 27.3 MPG, but it wouldn’t get 200 MPG.

Motor Trend recently had the opportunity to drive a pre-production Volt for several weeks. One driver saw 127 MPG, over a mix of highway and city driving, with the occasional canyon road thrown in for good measure. When pushed hard on a second road trip (triple digit speeds, A/C on, plenty of elevation changes), the Volt still returned a very respectable 75 MPG. That’s well beyond capabilities of a “standard” hybrid, and beyond all but the most fuel efficient diesels. Impressive stuff, indeed.

I’ll have a chance to drive the Volt in a few weeks, and I’ll give you my feedback after I’ve spent some time behind the wheel. Unfortunately, my seat time will be measured in minutes, not in weeks; still, I’ll be able to tell you how well the car works in the real world, at least for a short drive.

Source: Motor Trend, via Autoblog

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4 Responses

  1. Set says:

    127, including the “free” miles, or is that with the premium-fuel-only banger on pulling full duty? That would make a huge difference…

  2. Mark Smith says:

    These numbers are always so misleading. 127 MPG? How far did they drive? How much of a charge? What we need is a real test that shows:

    1. How may “Free” miles can you expect to get under a variety of conditions.

    2. What is the city MPG after the “Free Miles” are gone.

    3. What is the highway MPG after the “Free Miles” are gone.

    Then we can calculate our own mileage based on our driving habits. As it is, you can get numbers anywhere from infinite (in the case that your daily drive never goes over the “free” mileage”) to a hair over the city MPG (if you drive 500 miles a day of city traffic). Without knowing the driving profile, these stats are useless.

  3. Kurt says:

    Set, from the Motor Trend article it appears to be including the “battery only” miles. The writer claims a distance of 299 miles on 2.36 gallons of gasoline, but doesn’t specify when the car switched from batteries to gas.

    On a later drive, which yielded 74.6 MPG, the author specifies that the Volt went 36.3 miles on batteries alone before firing up the motor.

  4. Kurt says:

    Mark, you’re absolutely correct. Even the EPA is having a hard time assigning an estimated fuel economy to the Volt.

    What do I think? I think the real world fuel economy of the Volt will be all over the place, depending upon driving style, roads traveled, environmental conditions, battery charge (and condition), etc.

    I’m pro-Volt for one reason: it’s the first electric car I can jump into in FL, and drive to CA non-stop. It remains to be seen if this will be more economical than the 75 MPG VW Passat BluTech, which we can’t get here anyway.