There was much hullabaloo this morning — on the blogs, on Twitter, even on the oil-bearing Russian soil — about GM's announcement that it would squeeze a whopping 230 miles per gallon (city!) from its much-anticipated Chevy Volt "extended-range vehicle." (Side note: this means the electric car is only mostly dead).
Two-hundred-thirty miles per gallon is an exciting number, and the folks from Warren have a smiley new plug-in logo to prove it, but it's not their calculation that's exciting — it's the EPA's. From the press release we just got in:
"From the data we've seen, many Chevy Volt drivers may be able to be in pure electric mode on a daily basis without having to use any gas," said GM Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson.... Under the new methodology being developed, EPA weights plug-in electric vehicles as traveling more city miles than highway miles on only electricity. The EPA methodology uses kilowatt hours per 100 miles traveled to define the electrical efficiency of plug-ins. Applying EPA's methodology, GM expects the Volt to consume as little as 25 kilowatt hours per 100 miles in city driving. At the U.S. average cost of electricity (approximately 11 cents per kWh), a typical Volt driver would pay about $2.75 for electricity to travel 100 miles, or less than 3 cents per mile.
What does that mean, exactly? GM engineers are being pretty coy, but it's safe to assume they've invented an new way for us urbanites to drive, and that we'll be doing so as soon as next year. That is, if GM is able to "plug into the kiddies," as Henderson apparently put it, about once a day. If it can, though — if the Volt catches on with the car-crazy young consumers of America — it'll have found a way to do what has been, to those Russians, the bailout haters, and the American consumer alike, the unthinkable: make it possible to never have to fill up the tank. Unless, you know, you're taking the Great American Road Trip. Gas-guzzling does have its virtues.
Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/endorsement/chevy-volt-230-mpgs-081109#ixzz0NwVbdn8L