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.