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Chevrolet Volt Rated At 93 MPGe In Battery Mode

New plug-in hybrids mileage slips to 37 mpg on gasoline.

by on Nov.26, 2010

The first production versions of the Chevrolet Volt are rolling down the line, with official sales set to begin in December.

The Chevrolet Volt gets the equivalent of 93 miles per gallon when run in electric-vehicle mode, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has declared, and 37 miles gallon when it switches to its onboard gasoline engine.

Coming up with a rating for the Volt was a significant challenge for the EPA because of the multiple modes of operation available for the 2011 Chevy hybrid, which General Motors prefers to call an “extended-range electric vehicle,” or E-REV.  Unlike a conventional hybrid, which typically can get no more than a short run on battery power alone, Volt is capable of running for up to 50 miles in electric vehicle mode.  But, unlike pure battery-electric vehicles, it can switch to gasoline power for longer journeys.

In this mixed-mode operation, the EPA has decided, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt will carry a 60 mpg rating on the Munroney sticker, mounted on the vehicle’s window for motorists to use when comparison shopping.

The agency also determined that with a full charge and a full tank of gas Volt can travel 379 miles before needing to be either refilled or plugged back in again.

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The news came days after the EPA gave the Nissan Leaf, a pure BEV, a 99 mpge rating, the “e” standing for equivalent, reflecting the fact that government analysts had to decide how to make a meaningful comparison between the energy usage of a battery-powered vehicle and a conventional gasoline or diesel automobile. (Click Here for more on the ratings for the 2011 Nissan Leaf.)


Initial Chevy Volt Production to Triple in 2012

Maker reveals dealer plans, other details for upcoming debut.

by on Jul.01, 2010

Not quite coast-to-coast. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt launch will kick off with a 1,766-mile drive from Austin to Detroit, while seven states will now be part of the E-REV's launch.

General Motors expects to produce only about 10,000 of its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids by the end of 2011, as it ramps up operations, expands distribution and trains dealers and service technicians, but the maker says it will triple output to 30,000 of the so-called Extended-Range Electric Vehicles, or E-REVs, in 2012.

General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre returned to his home state of Texas, today, to kick off the start of the Volt “Freedom Drive,” a 1,766-mile demonstration trip that will take a Chevy Volt from Austin to New York City.  Those two cities anchor two other regions of the country that GM has decided to add to its list of launch sites when Volt makes its formal entrance into the retail market in November.

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In all, the automaker plans to start with sales in six states – New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Michigan and Texas – and Washington, D.C.  Confirming an earlier report in, GM officials also confirmed that a full roll-out of the Volt to all 50 states and Canada could take a little longer than originally planned.

The current goal is to complete that process “within 12 to 18 months,” which could push the end date back into 2012, acknowledged Doug Wernert, the Chevrolet VoltAge Community Manager.


First Drive: 2011 Chevrolet Volt

Getting charged up by GM’s new battery car.

by on Jan.20, 2010 Publisher Paul Eisenstein gets a drive of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

Few automobiles have ever received the hype and hoopla of the Chevrolet Volt, but now, almost exactly three years after it first rolled onto the stage at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show, the critical question is whether the production version will live up to expectations.

Most folks will have to wait until later this year to find out; the 2011 Chevy Volt won’t officially reach showrooms until sometime during the fourth quarter of this year.  But after doing some pleading and offering up our first-born male child, finally landed the opportunity to drive a near-ready Volt prototype on a recent, bitterly cold Detroit morning.

We met Andy Farah, the project’s chief engineer, out at the Vehicle Engineering Center, or VEC, a towering blue facility that provides a commanding view of the sprawling General Motors Technical Center, in the Detroit suburb of Warren.  After sipping some tea and getting a quick “pre-flight” briefing, we eagerly jumped into the driver’s seat of the Volt prototype.

Hybrids and Plug-ins!

A little background is probably useful.  Volt is, at its heart, a gasoline-electric vehicle.  But it has some distinct differences from other hybrids, like Toyota’s popular Prius.  The Japanese model has a very small nickel-metal hydride battery pack that is primarily used to recapture energy lost during braking and coasting, power then reused during acceleration. Prius – ad other conventional hybrids — can only drive for short distances and low speeds on battery power alone.