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Chevrolet Volt gets 230 mpg in the city, and only in the city.

Posted by: David Welch on August 11, 2009

General Motors made some big headlines this morning with word that its Chevrolet Volt electric car will get 230 miles per gallon in the city. That’s an impressive feat to be sure. It will certainly leap frog any car on the market except for all-electric cars like the Nissan Leaf or the Tesla Roadster when the Volt goes on sale late next year. But the Volt has an advantage for some drivers because its gasoline engine keeps recharging the battery, so drivers can drive far longer than the Leaf’s 100 miles. In auto industry parlance, the Volt is an extended-range electric vehicle.

But there is one potential quandary for the government, GM, and any other producer of EVs. The fuel economy and range ratings can vary greatly depending on how people drive them, and far more so than the difference you get by driving conventional gasoline-powered cars with a lead foot. EVs recharge the battery when braking, so the range (and in Volt’s case mileage) will be much better in the city. On the highway, drivers will use more electricity and charge less. An electric car can get half its range in pure highway driving than it might in the city.

So consumers may start griping if they don’t get the published range or fuel economy numbers. They’ll complain not only to the manufacturer but to the government. So right now the feds are studying hard to figure out how people will drive these cars and what rating they should put on them. GM insiders say the Volt could easily get less than 100 mpg on the highway, maybe even as low 50 mpg if it’s driven hard. But they’re thinking that the car will get a combined rating for city and highway mileage of 124 mpg. That’s still mighty impressive. This issue isn’t about technology. It will be about how the government decides to rate the cars and how the manufacturers will communicate the message. Consumers, too, will have to be more open-minded and realistic about their expectations.

Reader Comments

paul nelson

August 11, 2009 12:04 PM

this car will never make it to the public. the feds do not want that cause we need to buy the oil period. this would be a great car for big city and city driving. but we the people r too stupid to demand a car like this. learn to drive it the right way and it will be great. but that is all a pipe dream cause we will never get to see it.

Joe Smith

August 11, 2009 12:09 PM

Yes, this could become important when the 2030 Cash for Clunkers program rolls around and Congress deems a vehicle that gets only 105 MPG qualifies, but those at 106 MPG or more are out.


August 11, 2009 12:12 PM

The last thing GM needs to do is to falsely raise expectations. Don't tell people they'll get 230 miles to the gallon if it's expected most people, as a result of their driving, will get around 50-60 MPG. Toyota and Honda have done a great job selling the hybrid concept to their customers. They've done it by being honest (mostly) about the the capabilities of their vehicles. GM needs to build public confidence - not marketing hype, or the next time they WON'T emerge from bankruptcy. Superior engineering, not marketing, will save GM.

maria beatrice

August 11, 2009 12:22 PM

Be Strong mythic CHEVY!!!!
With My Love & my Hope I say You:


August 11, 2009 12:24 PM

it's only 124 mile!!!!! do we have any thing closer than that? I take the car with 62 now then get that one later....

Phacetious Plebbe

August 11, 2009 12:33 PM

I find it not only mightily impressive that it can achieve this sort of mileage, but just downright criminal on the part of GM. It had this technology long before the house of cards called the Global Economy came tumbling down. Why are we hearing about this only now? It is not as if their sales were being buttressed by Pontiac or Buick. I see it only as a marketing ploy now, and I am highly suspicious.

Remember, the US Auto economy had the Dymaxion engine from the 1930s, a vehicle that could carry 11 people comfortably, yet still give 30 MPG. In 1930!!!!! Yet was anything ever made of it? NO. Why? I don't have that answer for sure, you will have to ask Waggoner or his successor, or his predecessors. They would really know. Hey, we could even ask Lee Iacocca (is that how his name is spent?).

I am just very suspicious of these triple digit claims. Not to mention that GM has in today's world gotten a reputation for building vehicles with shoddy workmanship. That is why people have been buying Honda and Toyota all these years, not because of price. Honda and Toyota are not cheaper than GM brands, many times it's the opposite. People buy Honda and Toyota because they are usually of a better build quality, and the mileage has always been better.

I wish GM well, really, but they have played a deceptive game with the public for far too long to be readily and immediately believed, or to be perceived as victims in need of sympathy.

GM Daughter

August 11, 2009 1:13 PM

The EPA figures are to qualify it for tax credits and CAFE standards only. If you drive 40 miles or less per day, your mileage is close to infinite. If you're a travelling salesman you should count on about 30 mpg based on the mileage of other GM cars in its size class. It's still a neat car for the tech. Any new technology's gonna be buggy including Toyotas and Hondas. Anybody know if Toyota's new solar air conditioning works trouble-free?


August 11, 2009 1:27 PM

RobertG - My commute is around 50 miles. Thus, I will far exceed the 230 mpg (as would most people). That is what I call superior engineering.

If there ever was a home run hit in the automotive industry, this is it.

mark moss

August 11, 2009 1:36 PM

what is the projected cost of this magicle machine?just think when we all drive these gas sippers they can charge 20 bucks a gallon and we will still say thank you sir may i have another..


August 11, 2009 1:43 PM

Haven't you folks read the recent medical findings showing pessimism and cynicism knocks years off your life? Yea!, Chevy for making a really cool new technology car! While I'm toodling down the road passing gas pumps, you guys will be getting 0 mpg in a pine box. Lighten up!


August 11, 2009 1:53 PM

I think the triple digit fuel economy could be possible. I think this 230 figure is just a way to capture headlines right now. Lets face it GM needs some good news to talk about. Its all been bad for a few years. If GM would like to see the most efficient engine in the world I would allow them to see it, not touch it! The answer is not what the government wants to have built. The question is, what will get better then the recent CAFE standards, that people will actually buy? A vehicle that will deliver performance and fuel economy in the same package. UNthrottled load control in a fully programmable valve train will deliver both. Again if GM would like to see that in a real working, running engine I will let them see it, not touch it! As for the volt! We will see!


August 11, 2009 1:53 PM

The Feds (and automakers) need to move in the direction of measuring ENERGY efficiency of cars, not FUEL efficiency. How many BTUs (or kWh) will this car use to travel 100 miles? The BTUs from electricity won't be free but measuring just miles per gallon of gasoline (or gallons of gasoline per hundred miles) will make it seem that way. Measuring ENERGY efficiency (BTUs per mile) will make comparisons between electricity, gasoline, E-85, diesel, etc. much more useful.

Clark Chapin

August 11, 2009 1:53 PM

I worked in the fuel economy business for both EPA and the industry and I know that rating numbers depend more than anything else on the driving cycle. The EPA city cycle works as well as anything else and (keep this in mind) is generally more severe (cold start, higher speeds and accelerations) than the European or Japanese cycles.
The basic problem with the numbers is tht we, alone in the world, talk about mileage rather than consumption.
Improving a 5 mpg bus to 6 mpg saves as much fuel as improving a 15 mpg car to 30 mpg (2.22 gal/100 miles).
So going from 124 mpg to 230 is only reducing the consumption from 0.81 to 0.43 gal/100 miles. The doller cost difference is pretty unimportant at those levels.


August 11, 2009 1:55 PM

The author doesn't quite understand the reason why it gets so much higher mileage in the city. The reason is the lack of air resistance. So, as long as you are driving it in the suburbs at a slow speed, you'll still get great gas mileage.

The energy recovery from braking simply recovers the losses from stop and go driving.

It would be more useful to give the gas mileage at different speeds, rather than simply city vs. highway

Jason Dodson

August 11, 2009 1:56 PM

Paul, the Feds OWN GM! It will be released, no doubt about it. Viva Chevy!

Who killed the electric car?

August 11, 2009 1:59 PM

Why wasn't this technology out 10 or 20 years ago? OH WAIT.. IT WAS... just look up "General Motors EV1"


August 11, 2009 2:00 PM

Is there any info about charging the battery from an home outlet? Are there any other "costs" hidden that are not included in the fueling of this car--I dearly hope that this car exists, will be sold and lives up to the hyppe. Are there any emissions issues? 230 Miles per gallon is a sweet number!

Dan M

August 11, 2009 2:02 PM

230 miles per gallon ! When monkeys fly ! This is GM. The same GM that can't stay in business without money from us ! Wouldn't buy a car or truck from a car company owned by the federal government and greedy unions. The same scumbags that screwed us all! Be a real a FORD !

A. Nony Mouse

August 11, 2009 2:04 PM

Chevy jumps in with a 230 mpg claim? This reminds me of Oral Roberts telling us he saw a 900 foot tall Jesus.

Mike Dutle

August 11, 2009 2:04 PM

One way to avoid the confusion would be to tell the truth when they advertise the car. Say it's capable of running on electric power in the city, and needs a gasoline-assist on the highway and may get only 120 MPG. And don't put it in the "small print" or do the "fast mumble disclaimer" at the end of the commercial. Consumers can handle the truth!


August 11, 2009 2:06 PM

To Phacetious Plebbe: Please go put your tinfoil hat back on. The Dymaxion got the kind of MPG because it was made out of tissue-paper; the prototype killed the driver and badly injured two passengers. It didn't weight anything; when you're driving a tin toy, its easy to get good mileage.

The reason mpg has stays the same or fallen is simple: the public has been sold the idea of perfect automotive safety by the Nader-ites of the world. No need to slow down, just make the car 'safer'. And inevitably, this means 'heavier.'

We're now at a point in the orbit of automotive design that is forcing more innovative thinking. If GM is able to get the Volt numbers to stick, I'll be buying one, and I haven't owned a domestic model in 20 years.


August 11, 2009 2:06 PM

GM is making a rod for its own back by making these claims. You need energy to come from somewhere. The Prius's of this world recharge from their gas engine so you can make some sort of valid statement about MPG. The Volt get it's energy mostly from the 'grid'. The Volt is still an impractical fantasy until a huge recharging infrastructure is built. If we really want to reduce CO2 and get energy independent in the near-term, we should be encouraging clean diesels, especially for the light truck market.

Phileo Truth

August 11, 2009 2:06 PM

I agree with Phoebe. GM should have rolled this out long before the economic collapse.

I agree again with Phoebe in suspicion of the triple-digit claims. How is it possible that this vehicle offers almost 10x the fuel efficiency of most everything else on the road today?

This kind of electric car product, if it ever catches on with the majority of Americans will create an absurd demand for electricity. Our power lines are overtaxed as is with all of our electronic gadgets. Add motor vehicles to the mix and we will become absolutely dependent upon electric companies.

The Obama infrastructure agenda will have to address the potential skyrocketing demand for electricity if cars like this are to ever become the norm on America's highways.

Joe Daniel

August 11, 2009 2:09 PM

I am a little confused, why are they still using gasoline to charge the battery while driving. Solar recharging should do just fine. Doesn't a running car recharge it's battery while in motion???


August 11, 2009 2:11 PM

I wish GM would have tried to get rid of the unions(which prob start riots in detroit). You just cant build as good of a product when you have your hands tied behind your back(try it some time it is really hard).


August 11, 2009 2:12 PM

what a joke. the car gets 50 miles per charge; and then another 50 on a gallon of gas; this means then i have to wait 6 hours to recharge; to balance the equation then for the remaining 130 miles i either have to wait 12 hours or burn another 2.5 gallons of gas. my horse can cover the same distance in about 6 hours; the carbon footprint of my $400 horse or $40,000 investment still exceeds that of my current SUV driving at 30-60mph and i get there in less time NOW.


August 11, 2009 2:13 PM

wow, i really hope this car comes out


August 11, 2009 2:13 PM

There should be NO private cars in the city, period.

Cars are not urban-friendly. Public rapid transit is the answer - beautifully designed and paid with taxes, and the money people otherwise spend on their motor vehicles.

Let's start loving our environment by getting space-cluttering cars off the streets. Think about this, please.


August 11, 2009 2:17 PM

Really! People need to stop thinking that Honda and Toyota are some sort of Holy Grails for the auto industry.

Both continue to live off their superior quality reputation forged in the 80's and 90's, but a closer look at the government complaints site show both Honda and Toyota have taken a huge slide in reliability/dependability since both companies started building vehicles in the U.S.


August 11, 2009 2:19 PM

Sounds like another great GM Bait and Switch. GM, for decades, has played on owner loyalty and burned some many consumers. Yet, just enough keep returning to the showroom. I guarantee they will get people in the door to buy one of these and then when they see the true quality of the car, GM will push them in to a price inflated, gas guzzling SUV or Camero.

GM already had a great electric car called the EV1 (I think that was the name) that got good reviews after poeple drove it. GM decided it was in it's own best interests to recall destroy every one they made.

GM needs some seriously new blood in their pipeline. Superior product development has to be fostered and moved through to production. Otherwise we will continue to see the great concept cars while being sold Chevy Vegas and Cadillac Cimarrons.

GM will wither and die unless they get new ideas like putting superior engineering and fuel economy first. With Oldsmobile gone, Pontiac being shutdown and Hummer Saab and Saturn on the sale block, I would forsee the days of Buick being numbered and leaving us with only Chevy, GMC and Cadillac as the base of the company.


August 11, 2009 2:24 PM

When my family came to these Unites States in the mid-80's, my parents' attitude towards car purchasing was "when in America, buy American". We started with GM products and moved on to Fords. We kept up with routine maintanance. We did not abuse our cars, but we found that both manufactures shared a common flaw. Neither manufacture took the time to make cars that last. We found that both manufactures' cars would go about only 3-5 years when minor repairs would begin to creep up on us and that the cars would begin to show signs of decline. That was very frustrating. We needed a better solution. That is when we discovered Toyota in the mid-90's. The Toyota difference and experience was evident. This manufacture knew and still knows how to make reliable cars that last! Sure, they cost more than their American counterparts, but, at the end, I am paying for value, not price. It is a shame. We taught the Japanese how to make cars, but know they have surpassed us.


August 11, 2009 2:24 PM

I can't believe the negative comments regarding this remarkable news. I have my doubts of the origins.


August 11, 2009 2:26 PM

And it will be controlled by Microsoft Windows 7, which means it will crash twice each day. Both companies are well known for the height of their promises and the depths of their deliveries. By 2011, Toyota and Honda will be on their fourth generation of hybrids. I doubt that GM will be able to come close, and I suspect Detroit will be buying japan's technology before the Volt gets shorted out.

Richard McDonough

August 11, 2009 2:36 PM

The figures on mileage are verifiable. so that debate is silly.
The real figures that matter will be the cost at the dealerships. To this point it looks that the cars are to be caviar for the king.
Automobiles of proven daily savings and longevity should be priced $30,000 and under for a mass market.


August 11, 2009 2:38 PM

They announced this technology YEARS ago. They just can't make batteries cost effective due to royalties Don't expect to get electric cars for under $40K, unless they're subsidized. The cost will drop significantly when the patent runs on on Nickel Metal Hydride batteries. Lithium Ion batteries

The public didn't want to buy Geo Metros, even though they got great mileage and were even the cheapest cars GM made. GM has TONS of small fuel efficient cars for sale in other countries, but nobody will buy them here. They made big gas guzzlers because that's what people wanted to buy. Most people opted for the V6 instead of the 4 cylinder engine. Fuel economy wasn't even a consideration until last year.

Before the bubble popped, nobody would pay Cadillac or SUV prices for an underpowered econobox, no matter how good the mileage was. Today, the public is finally willing to consider something other than an SUV. The consumers has new criteria for a car purchase, allowing GM to market the Volt and hopefully turn a profit on it.

You conspiracy theory people need to get a life.


August 11, 2009 2:44 PM

I remember my dad owning a diesel VW Rabbit that got around 55 miles to gallon. That was in the early 80's. Why is it so hard to get these mileage numbers higher? Come on US Auto industry & CONGRESS time to get out of bed with the oil companies!!!! Increase mileage now!!!


August 11, 2009 2:44 PM

I remember my dad owning a diesel VW Rabbit that got around 55 miles to gallon. That was in the early 80's. Why is it so hard to get these mileage numbers higher? Come on US Auto industry & CONGRESS time to get out of bed with the oil companies!!!! Increase mileage now!!!


August 11, 2009 2:46 PM

I get really tired of hearing people without any knowledge of vehicles telling someone like me how Japan, Korean, or any other non american vehicle is far superior to my 5 GM products. I guess the big service centers at toyota and honda are just for show. When u have two GM vehicles over 200,000 miles and feel safe in them when you t-bone a prius and walk away and they are being cut out of that wonderful import, i guess i dont know what i am missing. Maybe the 6 to 10 extra miles to the gallon is worth it to you but not me!!! Also when your job is lost because you cant buy AMERICAN products maybe your import will loan you guys some money!!! Running down AMERICAN products should be the last thing people should do right now or anytime!!!


August 11, 2009 2:55 PM

Oh gollee gee. It's only 124mpg combined. It sucks! It should be banned. Duh... anymore stupid ideas to put down something that gets great gas mileage? As to "Phacetious Plebbe", yes, another make-believe scientist. Hint: years and years of tests on batteries to make sure that they don't explode on you like some laptop batteries do. Does this clue you in? Even a little? And I love conspiracy imbeciles like "paul nelson". And yet, they never wake up even when their conspiracy doesn't pan out - like when the car goes on sale. They just blithely forget what they were conspiring about and dream up the next stupidity.


August 11, 2009 2:59 PM

It's the EPA's rating of 230 NOT Chevrolet's.

Theoretically, you could never put any gasoline in the car and always run off the batteries.


August 11, 2009 3:04 PM

Where Can I buy one?


August 11, 2009 3:07 PM

you also have to factor in temperature. electro-chemical batteries don't work as well in cold temperatures (e.g. below 40-50 degrees F) and will require more help from the engine.

Thomas Hopkins PhD

August 11, 2009 3:07 PM

The calculation needs to be taken in the right light. This is an epa number and those are, at best, just relative benchmarks. The point that is being missed is how does this car meet the expectations of the public. Does it result in better economic efficiency (miles per dollar)? Does it result in lower carbon dioxide emmissions (miles per pound CO2)?

I know the battle cry is that all electric cars have zero emmissions. This is incorrect. We only move the emmission point to the power generation station. Will we really be reducing the total emmissions or just move it down the road. Also, the construction of the car is not emmission free. Where will the lithium come from? What will its impact be?

I have done some back of the envelope calculations regarding economic and environmental "mileage" of the Volt. I hope I got it wrong and someone will correct me.

According to my calculations, assuming that 25 kWh of electricity is required to travel 40 miles, that 1.350 lbs of CO2 is emitted for each kWh of power, the CO2 "mileage" is equivalent to a gasoline powered car getting 21.6 mpg.

Economically, assuming a kWh costs an average of $0.12 and a gallon of gasoline costs $2.60, then you are paying the equivalent of an vehicle getting 34.7 mpg.

My main point and concern is that the complexity of reducing environmental emmissions is underestimated and easily mis-represented. Perhaps scientists can take a bigger role in explaining the impacts of changes rather than CEOs and politicians.

It's a dream I have.

hoodwinked again

August 11, 2009 3:11 PM

I'm with phacetious plebbe! Big business has lost it's honor more than once over.

Brian Fraiser

August 11, 2009 3:25 PM

Phacetious Plebbe
This isnt NEW.

This has been published and out for a long time... Im just dissapointed GM didnt go with the company A123.

The reason these are commercially viable is with the new breakthroughs that only came out in the last few years with phosphate lithium (not your laptop kind) and other variations.


August 11, 2009 3:27 PM

GM really should underpromise and over-deliver. Right now, it seems like GM is still running the same old GM. Same marketiing nonsense and tired propaganda.

No wonder ppl still don't trust GM. Talk is cheap, and their products are cheap.

All I can say is I hope GM gets their act together, but I have little confidence in them and their abilities. Both UAW and management are no match compared to the Euro/Japanese imports.


August 11, 2009 3:37 PM

Keep on wishing.....this is a conspiracy. Why now....I guess the price tag on this will be so expensive that financing will take almost 8 years to pay this sucker off. Bahahaha


August 11, 2009 3:38 PM

GM makes cars with very good fuel economy better than Toyota and Honda. But it also make them with lower so there average as a whole autoline is lower. GM needs to learn to put some quality into their products. A good looking vehicle only goes so far. Personally I dont think Toyota makes a GOOD looking or performing car but sells for quality so what GM needs to do is focus on putting quality and durability into there good looking vehicles.

RS Pier

August 11, 2009 3:42 PM

That's all we need on our streets and highways...more turtles. SOME of us are going to drive powerful cars and trucks no matter what. We just bought a new one......a 2009 Z71 GMC Sierra 4x4. And I drive a Monte Carlo. My NEXT car will be a Camaro. They need to make a new lane on the roads for the turtles. Perhaps that construction will help the economy.

RS Pier

August 11, 2009 3:42 PM

That's all we need on our streets and highways...more turtles. SOME of us are going to drive powerful cars and trucks no matter what. We just bought a new one......a 2009 Z71 GMC Sierra 4x4. And I drive a Monte Carlo. My NEXT car will be a Camaro. They need to make a new lane on the roads for the turtles. Perhaps that construction will help the economy.

Paul Johnson

August 11, 2009 3:49 PM

My question is, living in WI where it does get brutally cold in wintertime...will the battery charge hold up in single digits? Also, will the engine have enough durability to be able to withstand extended freeway speeds? This is a noble effort, but until I see the facts from an independant source (Car and Driver is pretty straightforward when it comes to reviews), I will think of it as nothing more than advertising, and that's all. I still love my 4wd Explorer, especially in nasty weather. Try driving an economy car in the middle of an ice storm and you will see exactly what I am talking about.


August 11, 2009 4:04 PM

People just don't LIKE/BUY electric cars!

This is just another ongoing publiciy stunt buy both the car company & government to 'appear to be doing something' to save energy', till hydrogen cars permanently hit the mass market!

The car will ultimately fail like all it's predecessors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Roscoe P

August 11, 2009 4:08 PM

Would this vehicle use any fuel if the user only traveled 20-30 miles a day and recharged from household current all the time? But if you drive 100 miles a day in the cold midwest winter and floor the acclerator at each stoplight--those batteries would seem to be drawn down real fast. What happens to the fuel in the tank if you never use it for a year? Gasoline does "go bad" after a time. Is it time to buy stock in Sta-Bil fuel additive? The Dymaxion referred to above used a pretty garden variety Ford flathead V-8. Nothing groundbreaking in that powerplant.

Roscoe P

August 11, 2009 4:08 PM

Would this vehicle use any fuel if the user only traveled 20-30 miles a day and recharged from household current all the time? But if you drive 100 miles a day in the cold midwest winter and floor the acclerator at each stoplight--those batteries would seem to be drawn down real fast. What happens to the fuel in the tank if you never use it for a year? Gasoline does "go bad" after a time. Is it time to buy stock in Sta-Bil fuel additive? The Dymaxion referred to above used a pretty garden variety Ford flathead V-8. Nothing groundbreaking in that powerplant.

Jeff Foster

August 11, 2009 4:09 PM

No doubt about it, when they put that 230 mpg city number on the sticker of the Volt at the dealership, it's going to make people's jaws drop.

If you want do your part to help America get INDEPENDENT of foreign oil from petrodictators and gazillionaire oil sheiks from the Middle East, the Volt is definitely the vehicle to get. It's a MISER when it comes to gasoline. It's also a no-compromise kind of car not much different than how you drive now. The oil sheiks aren't going to like it too much. :)

With the Volt, the American people will have a POTENT weapon to throw at Wall Street oil schemers and oil sheiks if they want to jack up the price of oil. If and WHEN there's another huge gas price price spike (and there WILL be), Volt owners will just laugh. Gasoline prices will be something they rarely think about. That's the peace of mind that INDEPENDENCE gets you.

People that drive a Volt might only have to fill up their tank 3-4 times per YEAR. They can fill it up with E85 too if they want. I'd like to fill it up with algae based "bio-gasoline" from "Sapphire Energy" myself. The "electric fuel" for the Volt will ALWAYS be cheaper per mile than gasoline. Electric powertrains are just plain more efficient than mechanical internal combustion engines. I bet the maintenance and repair costs on the Volt will be pretty low. Fewer moving parts when you are driving in electric mode you know.

If the battery durability exceeds expectations and goes for 200,000 miles like some of the Prius batteries are, there's going to be some happy GM customers in America in the years ahead. There will be less wear and tear under the hood of your Volt since it will be running in electric mode probably 75%+ of the time.

Resale values should be good. Those IC engine parts should be in "like new" condition after 150,000 miles. People that buy a used Volt might be able to get a new (hopefully, MUCH cheaper) battery replacement and keep on driving that same Volt for another 150,000 miles ... no problem. You could see 2011 Volts on the road for a LONG time. 2011 Volts with 400,000 miles on them might be routine. Who knows?


August 11, 2009 4:12 PM

I doubt that everyone will be rushing out to buy a $40,000.00+ car. Although the government might pass a LAW making it mandatory that we all buy 2 of them, right? The government does OWN the majority of GM, correct?


August 11, 2009 4:12 PM

I doubt that everyone will be rushing out to buy a $40,000.00+ car. Although the government might pass a LAW making it mandatory that we all buy 2 of them, right? The government does OWN the majority of GM, correct?

W. Coast

August 11, 2009 4:43 PM

I wish GM well and hope the claims of triple digit gas mileage hold true. Unfortunately, it seems to me our American auto industry is faced with an uphill battle in selling its cars to it's own nation EVEN IF it has come up with the right technology.

For years I've WANTED to buy American, but when faced with side-by-side caparisons with other cars and taking projected reliability into account, I just could not find something compelling to buy.

Now, GM's new Volt Electric engine leapfrogs the competition in gas mileage. . . really? Wow, they sure got their act together fast!

You have to ask assume that they had the technology years ago, but just didn't bring it to the consumer (or had it and buried it . . . some of you might even say they killed it) and continued to sell us the same old thing.

So now we are to trust them on this one? Just like that? I'm happy for GM, but I still don't trust them.

Joe Quellen

August 11, 2009 4:52 PM

Yeah. Right. Four times the Prius. The fine print is that they did the "calculation" in a way that permits the batteries to be fully charged to start with so the energy is coming from the batteries and not the gasoline.

This kind of hype is typical of the marketing schlock from the domestic car makers. All it does is destroy the last wisps of their credibility. For year, if they couldn't build decent cars, they just conned us into buying what they felt like making. Their reward was to be bailed out with billions in taxpayer money while their competitors who were not so stupid got zip.

If GM were run again by great engineers instead of sleazy salemen and weaseley CPAs, there would actually be some hope that this company would finally pull through and survive.

The next step is for Toyota and the rest of the hybrid makers to apply the same liberal "calculation" in the same (dishonest) way and get even higher miles per gallon.

Why can't these top managers just shut up with the ridiculous hyperbole and go off and ACTUALLY BUILD good cars? The bottomless hype is more tolerable when they have a product that is actually for sale.


August 11, 2009 4:59 PM

If you read about the details of this vehicle, it's more of a prototype than consumer ready, with certain key technologies still to be fully developed. GM should focus more on getting mass market-ready, technically rock solid, well built cars which get 40-50 mpg (or Prius equivalent or better) at an attainable price in this depressed economy to gain the trust and marketshare, not put out a half-baked product potentially exposed to negative publicity, which they really can't afford.


August 11, 2009 5:13 PM

All electric are far better! 2 engines = double trouble, more expensive, more replacements... If the didn't kill the good old EV1!


August 11, 2009 6:09 PM

I can't stand to see technology mis-represented so. They should only list:
50 mpg on gas... city/hwy
X miles per KWH on battery... city/hwy

Done. Let the user figure out the cost/KWH and gas/electric mix. 230mpg is a gross misrepresentation of reality.


August 11, 2009 6:47 PM

i agree this is just marketing hype and i dont think its going to happen anytime soon. i do hope gm makes great moves as i have been interested in american cars, mainly due to the initial cost and support for our nations economy, but can we get something real and not just hype?

sell products online

Perl Advocate

August 11, 2009 8:04 PM

All these fancy mgp things are only in paper and news,, there were many such hybrid vehicles announced in past .. one more in paper and will soon be forgotten again..

real things and affordable to buy for me to buy right now in showroom is prius..

Roy G. Biv

August 11, 2009 8:10 PM

From what I understand the Volt will get 250MPG within 40 miles. ~125MPG within ~80 miles, and 60MPG within ~200, ALL PER SINGLE CHARGE.

Also look for GM to sell it at $35K (taking a 5K loss per vehicle for first year or so to spur demand and interest), and government rebate of ~5K, thus making it around ~30K to purchase, which is pretty good.


August 11, 2009 8:19 PM

Why did 230mpg hit the headlines in the first place and that too in a affirmative tone.?? Another ol'GM gimmik.?? Will the Volt go the EV1 way with change of economic condition, govt.. or whatever else..?


August 11, 2009 8:25 PM

This car has an Electric motor and a battery that must be recharged after 40 miles.
If you will be the lucky one to kip this battery for 300 charge/discharge cycles you need a new battery set after driving 12000 miles (40miles x 300 recharge cycles). If the cost of the battery is $5000 , then you spend $0.4 per mile only in battery cost. Kilowatts, recharging the battery are extra.
Oh, by the way, this car has a gasoline engine 40MPG.
I bought a used Toyota Corolla, manual, on 2002 with 35000 miles. Now the car has 120000 miles and still makes 34MPG (Summer).


August 11, 2009 8:46 PM

230 mpg is a real BS. One gallon of gasoline has ~36kWh worth of heat. If it can convert to electricity with 30% efficiency, which is a generous assumption, we get 10.8kWh as electricity. Even if battery and motor work at 100 efficiencies, we can run the car only 50 miles or less. Remember, GM said 1kWh runs the car around 4 miles.

City mileage is twice the highway mileage is another bullshit that I cannot believe. If we brake, motion energy can be saved in battery as electricity energy. But we lose a good portion during the charge-discharge cycle and in motor and in generator.

In Prius, gas engine is directly connected to the power train and it is possible that city mileage is somewhat higher than highway mileage. (I am not gonna discuss about details here) But, gas engine is not connected to power train in Volt. If we brake, we lose net energy as a form of heat because gas engine is already working in its most efficient range.


August 11, 2009 9:04 PM

The only reason Chevy can produce anything is because the government has gave them billions before and after their bankruptcy. With as much money as we've given them, we should all be driving a brand new Chevy. Problem is, they suck. I'd rather pay for a Ford than drive another Chevy. This Volt will fail because Chevy can't succeed. They are run by arrogant people making way too much money. And people complain about government employees.


August 11, 2009 9:05 PM

All Hoopla over a electric car is a joke.
1. These electric cars do not solve the oil problems, but merely transfer the problem i.e. ectc to power plants. 2. Being an enginner, they try bluff a guy like me about it's "JOKE" mileage savings. 3. It's actual mileage ain't 230mpg. 4. The batteries degrade over the years by 20% a year. How is that going to affect the car performance. 4. You want the answer?
Hydrogen (HO2). It's here, but not perfected. No government R&D on,why NO TAXES ON water? Get it?


August 11, 2009 9:51 PM

Chevrolet is very good.i like it very muchex


August 11, 2009 10:49 PM

I believe the Volt will achieve an overall highway mileage better than 50 mpg, but of course, GM and Detroit are all 30 years late in offering the driving public a high-range, more fuel-efficient car. At least the Volt will run in everyday city traffic without having to use the gas more than a few times. I guess it's OK to be late than never, you agree? U.S. voters should also remember that in the last 30 years, the government did not push automakers into producing more-efficient vehicles. The United States is still a fossil-fuel centered country, and our gas-centered habits may take more than a few decades to erase.


August 12, 2009 12:21 AM

As for the Co2 emissions at the electricity generation site, such plants can have better management of emissions. For example, it is easier to manage the emissions at the power generation site than at the exhaust of every vehicle.


August 12, 2009 4:21 PM

Thomas Hopkins PhD..
I'm not sure if your calculations are correct. Why are you assuming 25kwh? If the car gets 40 miles on a 6 hour 110v charge as GM claims then that would have to be less than 9 kwh given that it could not draw more than 15 amps. I think the assumption would be better at 6 kWh. Assuming the rest of your calculations are correct then you get CO2 "mileage" equivalent to a gasoline powered car getting 90 mpg and paying the equivalent of a vehicle getting 144.6 mpg.

the handyman

August 12, 2009 9:02 PM

When I heard GM announce the Volt as their solution to the company's woes, I knew GM was going to fail again. I guess those autoworkers and GM execs are living in a whole different economic world because I don't know any friends, relatives, or neighbors around here that can afford a $40,000 car. I honestly thought the CEO was mentally ill.


August 12, 2009 9:19 PM

Why is it that the pure electric EV1 manufactured in the late 90's managed to get up to 150 miles on a charge with a NmH battery, and the Volt can only go 40 miles? Is it possible that GM added a gas engine to profit from repair and maintenance costs?


August 12, 2009 9:53 PM

I am sorry to see GM using VODOO math. Let them tell you when the car goes on the road after the first 40 miles what speed,the gasoline engine will have to travel at to get 230mpg. If the answer was more like 25-35mph don't be surprised and who will travel on the road at 25mph.This is NOT an amazing car it is the amazing Hype that they are using to fool the public.


August 13, 2009 1:40 AM

Here in CA they cannot generate enough electricity on hot days when all the A/C units are running. Consumers can volunteer to have their A/C cycled by the power company and then they get a break on their bill for participating. What's going to happen when everyone gets home from work and plugs a million autos into the socket?

Pablo Mayen

August 13, 2009 10:26 AM

No doubt, the best comment posted here is by Mr. Thomas Hopkins PhD. Moving emission ssource from the actual road to a power station. I'm by no means a scientist or closer to that but I can see his point.


August 13, 2009 11:37 AM

I don't believe any of this for a second. You and I will be long dead before an American car manufacturer produces a consumer car that gets over 200mpg.

Come on, seriously; cars now are LESS efficient than they were 20-30 years ago. But you expect me to believe They're suddenly going to raise their car mileage by a factor of 10?

You know what this is? This is a company desperately trying to spin some golden fantasy in the hopes of a stay of execution form the government and consumers. It won't work; they suck too bad, and anyone with a brain drives Hondas.

Jerry Mattos

August 16, 2009 5:17 PM

I have seen the Buick. I have seen the Volt. I have seen the Ford Focus, Fiesta, Fusion, and Taurus. American Built Vehicles are top notch. The engineers, the workers, the public can be supported with $$$ for a job well done. We are part of a world market and an international work force. Stop looking in the rear view mirror and support the future.


March 4, 2010 9:36 PM

so if I drive this car like a psycho teenager trying to outrun the cops, I'll still get 50mpg? I say good on ya chevy, this looks like something I might buy

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