October 26, 2014

Chevy Volt will do 230mpg

GM are claiming 230 mpg for the Chevy Volt

GM are claiming 230 mpg for the Chevy Volt

Yes, you read that right. In a press conference today GM has claimed that the Chevy Volt – when it finally turns up in late 2010 or more likely mid-2011 – will achive mileage equivalent to 230mpg. Some claim. How they’ve worked it out we don’t really know. Perhaps they plucked a figure out of thin air?

The premise is that the vast majority of buyers for the Chevy Volt will do no more than 40 miles a day. Which just happens to be the range that the Volt has. So I suppose they could have worked out the cost of the electricity to fully charge the Volt, converted that in to the cost of petrol and come to the conclusion that it does 230mpg.

Which is of course pretty disingenuous. For starters, they should be working out what energy it takes to move the Volt the 40 miles and then compare that to the petrol energy equivalent. Because the equation is otherwise fatally flawed. Even in the US petrol taxes are much higher than electricity taxes. And you can bet your Grannies Bloomers that if people start piling in to electric cars Governments around the world will slap on some big taxes.

I think it’s fair to say that 230mpg is a relative figure you’ll never see anywhere other than on paper. But it will be economical at first in comparison to a conventionally fuelled car. But I say again – for the umpteenth time – how is this any ‘Greener’ than a conventional engine? The comparable cost in carbon for a very prosaic electric car in Europe is as much as 100g/km. It’s all a nonsense unless we find alternative ways to generate electricity.

Still, it’s GM’s ‘Great White Hope’, the Chevy Volt. Let’s hope it’s a winner.

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  1. This ‘Troll’ wrote this article. The EPA figures are disingenuous as they are city cycle based and assume electric as the main power source. They are also based on a cost of electricity basis, which of course isn’t taxed and varies hugely around the world. That is why the figures were generally ridiculed. Not just by ‘Trolls’ on car publications throughout the world but by Nissan, who came out and claimed 367mpg for the Leaf to illustrate the nonsensical claims made by Chevy. Just because the EPA came up with the figures it doesn’t mean they are an accurate illustration of the real world mpg. That is more likely to be around 100mpg.

  2. Mark smith says:

    I would have expected the kind of troll comments above from people in the comments section who haven’t done any fact checking – but from the writer of the article!?!
    The 230mpg is based on EPA testing not plucked from the air. Electric motors are 90% efficient and so is the grid. Petrol engines are 30% efficient. Plus it has hybrid regenerative breaking + a small generator (used only when the battery is below 20%) and running at the most efficient revs.
    Charged overnight when electricity is wasted when “most” powerstations (coal, nuclear) cant turn off the car is incredibly efficient. You also forget it is cleaner to clean pollution from the stack of 30 power stations than the tail of 50 million cars!
    Please check your facts in the future

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