Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Chevrolet Volt: 230 miles per gallon

GM Says New Electric Car Gets 230 Miles Per Gallon
By Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

General Motors announced today that its forthcoming electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt, will achieve city fuel economy of 230 miles per gallon, under testing that used draft federal fuel economy methodology standards for plug-in cars.
The Volt will become the first mass-produced vehicle to obtain a triple-digit MPG rating, the company said.

"The Volt is becoming very real, very fast," chief executive Fritz Henderson said. "The price of oil is going to go up."

The announcement of the mileage breakthrough comes after the government-rescued automaker received some strong criticism for failing to have more fuel-efficient cars.

Whether the Volt will be affordable enough to serve the American public as more than just a curiosity is unclear, however. Initial prices for the car may be as much as $40,000, analysts said.

But company officials said the car's price is expected to come down over time. They note, moreover, that gas prices will rise again, making fuel-efficient cars more valuable.

The Volt, which is scheduled to start production late next year, is expected to travel up to 40 miles on electricity from a single battery charge. The company says the car can extend its range to more than 300 miles with its flex fuel-powered engine-generator.

Assuming the average cost of electricity is approximately 11 cents per kilowatt-hour in the United States, a typical Volt driver would pay about $2.75 for electricity to travel 100 miles, or less than 3 cents per mile.

"A vehicle like the Volt that achieves a composite triple-digit fuel economy is a game-changer," Henderson said.