GM Says Volt Gets 230 MPG - InformationWeek

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GM Says Volt Gets 230 MPG

The hybrid car will get four times the mileage of today's Toyota Prius when it hits the streets in two years.

GM's Chevy Volt
(click image for larger view)
Chevy Volt

General Motors says the Chevrolet Volt, which will lead the car maker's charge into the electric-hybrid market, is on track to get 230 miles per gallon of gasoline in the city, more than four times the mileage of today's popular Toyota Prius.

GM on Tuesday said the Volt's estimated mileage is based on "development testing using a draft EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) federal fuel economy methodology." In comparison, today's Prius' gets a gas-guzzling 51 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway.

However, unlike Prius owners, buyers of the Volt will have to plug their cars into an electric outlet each day, despite the vehicle's gasoline-powered engine dedicated to recharging the car's battery. That's the key to its high gas mileage, GM Chief Executive Fritz Henderson said in a statement.

In that respect, the Volt, which will be available in 2011, resembles the Nissan Leaf, an all-electric vehicle scheduled to be on showroom floors next year. The Leaf will be able to travel 100 miles on a single battery charge, while the Volt will get 300 miles with the help of its gasoline engine, which means the vehicle will be less eco-friendly. The Volt will also be more expensive than the the Leaf, $40,000 versus between $25,000 and $33,000. The Prius starts at $22,000, according to Toyota.

In order for their plug-in vehicles to be successful in the United States, GM, Nissan and other car makers will need the money and resources of local governments, businesses and universities to build charging stations, create of price incentives for vehicles and electricity costs, and other incentives to increase adoption. Car makers are already looking for help from the nation's most environmentally conscious cities, such as San Francisco, and among federal lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

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