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.
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.)