GM Fervently Denies Sub-30 MPG Fuel Economy Claim for Chevy Volt

· · 7 years ago

Yesterday the internet was abuzz with the rumors that the Volt would get less than 30 miles per gallon after the battery was depleted (after the first 40 miles of range following a full charge). A video shot by a Volt test driver and his camera crew seemed to show that the Volt returned about 27 mpg after a day of test driving.

Certainly it's only one point of data and we don't know what kinds of conditions the test car was driven in, but considering the complete radio silence GM has provided on the subject of Volt fuel economy after the battery is depleted (so called charge-sustaining mode), can you really blame people for trying to squeeze as much info out of little tidbits like that video? Up to this point, it was kind of assumed that the Volt might return as much as 50 mpg in charge-sustaining mode, but the ultimate choice of a less than optimized engine for the Volt range extension has meant that most people are expecting something quite a bit lower than 50 mpg. But 30 mpg would be a deal breaker for many, which is why the report was quite shocking.

Apparently, GM thought it was shocking too. “These numbers are completely out of context and irrelevant,” said GM spokesperson Rob Peterson to the folks over at GM-Volt. “As you can tell from the video itself, the AOL Translogic team ran a battery of aggressive tests with the vehicle including extensive use of mountain mode, time trials (0-60), (and) aggressive driving maneuvers." Peterson also pointed out that the vehicle often sat idling while the camera crew set up different shots, adding, "I’m hard stretched to think of ANY real world conditions under which a Volt owner could simulate the conditions this particular vehicle was put under."

If only GM would simply tell us how many miles per gallon they expect the Volt to return in charge-sustaining mode under normal circumstances, all of this grasping at straws and rumor would simply disappear. Instead, it's now been set up as an "us-against-them" game to see who can figure out what the fuel economy will be first. GM knows what the answer is and the fact that they won't give it to anybody makes it seem like they're trying to hide something. I understand that they want to establish the fact that with the Volt, it's all about average fuel economy over time (which should be quite high due to the 40 mile electric-only range), but people still have a right to know what, exactly, they are buying.


· · 7 years ago

Nick: Yours and the other stories yesterday and today show a complete lack of understanding of the process and are quite frankly, lazy reporting. We haven't announced the extended-range MPG because the EPA is still working with us and other plug-in automakers on a methodology to measure it. It's that simple. They are trying to pull together the best real-world, comparative numbers on these types of vehicles in a way that is fair and equitable for everyone.

We took a lot of heat for discussing the city MPG in August 2008 based on a draft methodology and were criticized by many reporters and pundits for it. Now, those same critics are advocating for us to reveal a number using draft methodology once again. You can't have it both ways.

What I will tell you, and what we would have told you yesterday if you had contacted us, is the MPG we're seeing in development testing during extended-range mode is much better than what was being reported yesterday. Plus, if any of you had called us to ask, we would have told you the driver's information center wasn't even reset before this test drive - so the electric only range on the display wasn't accurate either. The numbers you, Lyle and others based your "calculations" on were completely and totally irrelevant.

As we always have, we're more than happy to work with you and others as much as we can to help you understand how the Volt works, but when you report erroneous numbers as fact, that does no one any good.

Phil Colley, Volt Communications

· · 7 years ago

Thank you for chiming in on this Phil. I understand your frustrations but I do hope you understand the frustrations of the thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of Volt supporters that have been following the car since it was merely a concept.

The CS mode MPG has been a hotly discussed topic for a long time now and when we get a hold of a video that might give us a some information about what we can expect we are going to run with it.

I commend GM for being open with lots of information on the Volt through the development stage, I think that openness has helped to foster a lot of good will and excitement in the Volt.

We all know the metric for fuel efficiency on this unique car is still open to debate and even the EPA isn't sure how to derive a easy way to produce the figure. However, GM is certainly capable of telling the loyal followers what to expect to get while the car is in CS mode.

A simple statement like "cruising at highway speeds we are seeing numbers like 36-39 mpg in CS mode" and " In lower speed, city-like driving we have seen CS mpg ranging from 38-43" and then the disclaimer "these figures are an approximation of what volt customers car expect to see in charge sustaining mode. Some will get more, some less. The EPA had yet to release the official mileage figures since this groundbreaking vehicle is requiring them to create a new metric to calculate efficiency"

The car will be in showrooms in a couple months, it's time to put it all out there.

· · 7 years ago

Phil, I appreciate your input, but I didn't make the calculations, I was reposting them (on my other site, Gas 2.0, actually, so if you have problems with that particular piece please respond directly there). I didn't run a rigorous evaluation of them, true, but I sure as hell didn't state them as fact.

Maybe it's a sad state of affairs, but bloggers like myself barely make enough money to justify doing a lot of background checking on every post, which is why it was a repost and was couched in that format. I never claimed the numbers as my own, and I was sure to say that it was a "hint" or a "claim." Look through my 4 years of blogging history and my thousands (yes thousands) of posts and you'll find that, in general, I do a hell of a lot more fact checking and analysis than you give me credit for. You try waking up everyday and writing 2,000 words for less than $60 and then come back to me and complain about how it's lazy reporting. Actually, I'm very surprised that you still find this aspect of the blogging world surprising. We all know that nobody's willing to pay for their news anymore—it has all sorts of consequences most of us don't like.

Look, I understand your frustration, but it doesn't do any good to hurl insults. I'd expect a person in your position to know that. I take enough of that kind of thing from the "mob" out there in cyberspace (no offense, mob, most of you are nice) on a daily basis to make it shocking to get it from top paid executives in charge of communications at major automakers. In fact, you're the absolute first one in that category to ever do it to me.

In this piece that we're commenting on now I think you'll find that I'm agreeing with you for the most part, but that I feel the lack of communication on this matter from GM isn't doing your message any good. Like Tom said, you have other options as to how to communicate this message without riling up the EPA or making a claim that can't be proven. Why not just do that? Sometime I think you automakers make the whole communications thing way to complicated for your own good.

Also, you want to know something? I've tried reaching out to GM on lots of occasions, but nobody over there ever gets back to me. Maybe you're different, I don't know. It's only recently that you and I started communicating at all. But, honestly, It's like I've been shut out of the GM camp. Hell, I must be the only blogger/reporter on the planet who hasn't had a chance to test drive the Volt at this point. I've tried to organize it—NY Auto Show, LA Auto Show, Chicago Auto Show… you name it, I've tried. So you look at the amount of time I'm willing to spend on each post versus my pay and then how much extra effort it takes to get you all to respond to me and then calculate if that extra time is worth it in my book. I'd be glad to know that I could just write you an email or call you and get an answer without having to follow up 5 times, but my experience tells me otherwise.

· · 7 years ago

I think we have to be careful not to confuse eagerness for information with entitlement- sure, we're all curious, but after watching the beating that GM took on the last MPG announcement, I gotta side with Phil that it's in their best interest not to release a number they're not confident about. (And truly, it would be in all of the automakers' best interests to lowball whatever the EPA does come up with.) Given the history, there's a special layer of cynicism around GM and EVs, which is both understandable and unfair, given that all of the automakers took basically the same course, and GM has worked the hardest to shed that with transparency on the Volt. But I'd rather have them exercise caution, given what's at stake.

And frankly, if these sorts of details are the last ones we're still waiting on, I'm ok with that. To Tom's point, cars will be in showrooms in short order, and all of these things will get answered in the next new months one way or another. And if the difference between 30 and 50 mpg on an engine that will rarely get used at all is a main factor in a Volt purchase decision, all of us behind this technology have bigger problems.

· Turbo3 (not verified) · 7 years ago

I side with Nick and Tom on this matter. It is GM that has put themselves into this position by not following up with some estimates of CS mode MPG after their initial 50 MPG goal (let's not even talk about the 230 MPG foolishness). This car was to "leapfrog" the Prius. So how did it do?

Nissan has no problem giving real life ranges estimates from 47 MPC to 137 MPC and explaining the variables that caused the variations.

The least GM can do is give their future customers the CS ranges in the format Tom suggests. Waiting for this EPA blended number is not necessary.

· · 7 years ago

Turbo- I agree, some estimate could be done...but you also just proved my point. The same week that GM announced 230 mpg, Nissan announced 370 mpg. It was an equally unrealistic number, but how many folks did you see flog Nissan for that?

I don't think it was the best move for either company to have put such an optimistic number out there, though neither am I in the camp that believes there's no place for mpg in an EV conversation. But I do think we have to be equitable in our assessment of each company's efforts. Yes, we're still waiting for this detail from GM, but they've revealed far more about their technology and development efforts than NIssan has. Nissan has thus far been better at marketing than GM has. Neither is right or wrong, just each taking a different approach and hoping it'll pay off. But even as "issues" go, there are other ones I'm far more worried about in terms of their potential effect on the success of the Volt program (the dealer experience comes to mind.)

· Samie (not verified) · 7 years ago


I commend Mr. Colley on his comments however, nothing that he said disproves the claims of low mileage (from the choice of engine) being made against GM. Sorry I don't care about the techniques used to get 27mpg. The testing was probably misleading and a misnomer at best but EPA numbers (influenced partly by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers) using a combo of gas/electric &/or conversions into MPGs will be misleading also.

It would be refreshing to hear some realistic estimates concerning mileage without PR spin or some journalist trying to sensationalize a story by intentionally getting 27mpgs.

· · 7 years ago

GM is Making the Marketing push about the Range extending Capabilities of the Volt, GM Thinks its important , and for an Auto maker thats future hangs in the Balance,its understandable that such information
would be of great interest to the Public.40 mile Range EV might be good for 72 % to 78% population ,but to say it probably does not matter,about the engine is wishful thinking ! If it wasn't needed then why put it in .

Time will tell all !

· · 7 years ago

Wow, Phil. I think this would have all worked out better if you didn't look so grumpy in your thumbnail image.

· Samie (not verified) · 7 years ago

I did not see Chelsea's comment before mine but I agree with her comments.

A combination of gas & electric converted into mpgs that confuses the consumer will not work. Should the Volt be delayed? Refitting the Volt with a more appropriate engine may be necessary. The extended hybrid only works if you can offer superior mileage compared to a pure EV, since the price for EV/ICE combo is usually going to be more expensive. With the limitations on the first generation of plug-ins consumers will focus on the Leaf -100mi along with the Volt -40mi plus 30-35??? mpgs after that against the premium that comes with the first wave of mass produced plug-ins. PR games in this case will not work as the consumer (early adopters) always votes (usually best & most likely winning technology) with his/her wallet.....

· · 7 years ago

Chelsea- My post in no conceivable way proved your point. GM came up with a silly number and Nissan had no choice put to apply the same "formula" to match theirs. But I was not talking about that (230 number) as I clearly wrote.

How does that have anything to do with companies posting reasonable numbers from near finished hardware. Nissan has done it with the Leaf (47-137 MPC). GM had their "Freedom Ride"(sp?) which must have generated real life numbers. Where are they???

Nissan's low 47 miles in heavy traffic running the A/C is hardly an "optimistic number" and I commend Nissan for being so honest with the low range.

· · 7 years ago

Nick: My comment wasn't an indictment of your blogging career, just on the report yesterday. And I fully understand it was Lyle with the initial erroneous report that you were citing, but you and others (Edmunds, Autoblog Green, TTAC, etc.) all wrote about it without even contacting anyone on the Volt team to question it. There are so many variables to take into account, not the least of which is the driver's information center wasn't even reset before the test. Factor in the extensive use of Mountain Mode, track driving and maneuvers, etc., and the numbers weren't representative at all.

I think you do a good job in this space, which is why I've been reaching out to you to build a relationship. That's why it was so disappointing you didn't even call me to question Lyle's report and to see you write this, "GM knows what the answer is and the fact that they won't give it to anybody makes it seem like they're trying to hide something." I'm very responsive to any blogger, reporter, etc. who contacts me - just ask Brad and Chelsea who are both contributors on this site, they'll tell you the same. And I'm sorry if it's been rough going for you with us in any way - it's not intentional and I will continue to personally work to make it better. I may not always have the answer, but I'm always responsive.

Let's chat offline about it and see what we can do to get you into a Volt. I'm actually surprised myself you haven't gotten behind the wheel yet because I thought we had reached out to you previously.

As for Tom and Turbo3, we'll discuss extended-range MPG when we have a more formal method for measuring. It does us no good to publicly comment on numbers now when the methodology isn't formalized, as we found out with our city MPG announcement in 2008.


· Samie (not verified) · 7 years ago

Let's play a game of consumer economics

Chevy Volt $41,000 (before a federal tax credit)
Nissan Leaf $32,780 (before a federal tax credit)
Chevy Volt premium compared to the Leaf $8220 (not comparing leasing options)

What am I getting for the $8220 compared to the Leaf?
-Extended range mileage approx. 260 miles (at 30-37mpgs???)

Next the Chevy Cruze LTZ at $22,695
similar mileage 32-37 mpgs Volt premium (18,305 - 7,500 Federal $10,805)

The Volt premium for 260 miles is $8,220
(Key marketing factors: safety of extended mileage in a plug-in and extended range for farther destinations)

The Volt premium for 40 miles per charge is $10,805
(Key marketing factors: One of the first mass produced plug-ins, EV city car/no gasoline, appeal to environmentalist/causes consumer)

Sure the Volt has different features and numbers are taken for face value without factoring environmental damages, hidden petro costs, or even state rebates but this is the kind of thinking that the general consumer thinks of. I argue that any extended range plug-in must offer superior fuel mileage eg somewhere in lines of 40-55mpgs for the premium compared to the Leaf. As cars like the Leaf up battery range ie. 300-500 miles per charge cars like the Volt must up the efficiency of the ICE engine to justify the premium eg 100-150 miles EV plus 400-600 ICE & increased mpgs for ICE also. Economics may warrant a major upgrade to the Volt by the next generation or possibly a delay in production to upgrade the engine now.

· Folsomev (not verified) · 7 years ago

What matters is how little gasoline a particular driver uses in overall use over a month or year. If I get 30 miles per gallon in charge sustaining mode, but I hardly ever use charge sustaining mode, I may really get hundreds of miles per gallon. The whole measurement argument is bogus. Trying to compare the Volt to a plug-in Prius on mileage just doesn't mean a thing.

· · 7 years ago


We understand that there needs to be an established method of comparing the volt's efficiency given it's unique architecture to other vehicles. I don't think anyone is asking for "official" numbers. You obviously check out sites like this and Lyle's so you know what everyone is asking: What mpg does the volt in CS mode? Not a complicated combination of CD & CS modes like the EPA is working on, just a simple "How much gas will the car use in CS mode on the highway" Forget about the first 40 or so CD miles, we know all about that great feature.

GM obviously knows these numbers by now but if they don't want to reveal them then that's their prerogative. Maybe Chelsea is right and they shouldn't reveal that info just yet. Just don't get upset and defensive when somebody uses false information to write a story that everybody is interested in reading, if you have the correct information and refuse to divulge it. Without the facts, false speculation will continue to spread until Volt owners drive the car and post their finding themselves.

· · 7 years ago

BTW Phil, Darells right, you look pissed in that avatar!

· · 7 years ago

Nick: You said "Maybe it's a sad state of affairs, but bloggers like myself barely make enough money to justify doing a lot of background checking on every post, which is why it was a repost and was couched in that format." I appreciate the plight of the blogger but don't forget that there are people reading your writing and we rely on you to get your information correct. We come here for good, responsible reporting. You have the access to members of the Volt team. I don't. If this story was breaking all over the web, you could have been the one to get it right. If Nate Silver had taken that approach with 538 I doubt he ever would have ended up at the NY Times.

@Samie: Regarding the price comparison between the Volt and Leaf, each of these companies has done what they needed to in order to get the cars out the doors and into driveways. GM has priced the Volt high and coupled it with an unrealistically low lease rate, obviously so that GMAC financing can take the hit in three years. Nissan has designed a battery they know is going to fail, already designed it's replacement and slapped a huge warranty on the battery they know will die. That's where they will take the hit. For those who lease, the price will be the same. For those who pay the extra to own the Volt, the extended range will make it worth it. It would for me. I would consider the Volt as my only car but could only buy the Leaf as a second car.

· · 7 years ago

TrasKY, don't look at my work in the light of one post. I also write for the NY Times. And Popular Mechanics. Perhaps I could have spent more time on that one post (on a different website even, jeesh). So what? I spend a lot of time on lots of stuff, sometimes I don't spend a ton of time on one post. If you can tell me that you always spend a lot of time on everything you do, you're a better man than I (and have magical powers). As I've come to know in the 4 years I've been doing this, it's very easy for others to be casually critical. That's about all I have to say on this topic.

· George Parrott (not verified) · 7 years ago

In summary (maybe?), we all want some kind of MPG assessment based on a standardized test protocol that could be then compared to numbers for other vehicles tested under that same protocol.

Clearly the current federal price sticker MPG report is not accurate for every end user, and it might not even be correct for ANY real driver, but is is based on a standardized test protocol and it then allows direct comparison between different cars for general operating economy.

Now the problem with this current protocol is that over the limited total distance of the "test," the range extending fuel engine will not come on at all, so ....BIG PROBLEM.

A more generalized testing procedure is still to be finalized....My personal suggestion would be something like a single drive protocol of around 150 miles with some percentage (maybe 40%) in an urban stop and go pattern like the current "city test cycle," and the remainder at highway (65 mph) steady state cruising with perhaps 2-3 periods of slowing to around 40 mph and returning to cruise mode.

Pure EV vehicles with limited battery range would not even be able to complete such a test, but then they never use any fuel, so... Extended range EV designs could easily complete the test protocol and give a more realistic insight into what happens when the battery range is exceeded.

My $ .02

· Robert (not verified) · 7 years ago

I can understand GM's hesitation in releasing unofficial numbers.
I can also understand the communities interest in wanting some mpg numbers work with.

I'd suggest GM allow a reporter to drive the car for a few hours with the expressed purpose of reporting their take on the mpg. I'd suggest the people at I have no affiliation with them but they do produce some nice unbiased reviews, while driving cars in a controlled way to produce good mpg numbers.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

The Chevrolet VOLT is destined for a massive failure in the market place. This is 1920's technology. The Owens Magnetic, manufactured and sold from 1915 to 1924, used the same technology and drivetrain as the VOLT and achieved in excess of 50 mpg in combined mode. The VOLT is a publicity stunt that got out of hand, will be a very expensive automobile, will have a very very short electric range and will be useless as a fuel saving vehicle for anyone that consistently drives outside of it's electric range. The newer PRIUS conversions incorporating a lithium ion battery into their system and computer, delivers extremely high electric range and overall gas economy...the PRIUS heads in another direction obviously and is the forerunner of future automobiles. There is no future for the VOLT concept.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

Phil / GM,

The Volt should be a great car and GM should be proud of.

Don't beat around the bush.

So, what is the capacity of the Volt's tank?

How many miles can the volt travel in CS mode until tank only has 10% left when:

(a) Driving in the city (with similar condition to EPA test loop for city driving)
(b) Driving on the hwy (with similar condition to EPA test loop for hwy driving)



· · 7 years ago

I certainly don't have magical powers and don't spend nearly as much time on everything I do as I should. I also do not judge your work by this one post and was only referring to your own explanation. If I thought that of your work in general I wouldn't click onto this site every day and read your posts.

· · 7 years ago

The Owens Magnetic used some similar technologies as the Volt but that statement says nothing really about the potential for success of the Volt than the fact that pure electric cars have been around for over 100 years should say anything about the Leaf, or the fact that Mr. Diesel powered his engine with peanut oil says anything about bio-diesel. We are a species that had toe rediscover that the world was round and revolved around the sun. Progress is not an uninterrupted straight line.

I do find it puzzling that one can cite the price of the Volt as the cause of it's eventual downfall when on this same site there is a story regarding the effort to keep Volt dealers from price gouging consumers.

Further, the plug-in Prius will have an all-electric range of 12.5 miles. I 'm sure it will be quite a refined and excellent car but not quite 40 miles. I took a moment this morning to try to remember every trip I have taken this year that exceeded 40 miles round trip. We are 8 months into the year but I think I can still name them all. One trip in February from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara for the weekend. One trip from Los Angeles to Thousand Oaks for a film screening. One drive from Los Angeles to Lexington, KY. This was a one way trip. One round trip from Kentucky to Columbus, OH. One round trip from Kentucky to Connecticut. One round trip to Chicago for the weekend. One round tip to the Cincinnati Airpot. That's it. 8 months, 7 trips that would have involved using gasoline in a Volt. The rest of the year I would have burned no gasoline if I had a Volt.

· Mar Smith (not verified) · 7 years ago

It’s simple – the car has 2 modes. So it needs 2 figures.
Test it once in KWH/mile
Test it in CS mode.
Give both values. Don’t fart around with trying to work out how many miles somebody is going to drive in each mode!
If you figure people only drove 41 miles then the mpg would be sqewed as you would drive 1 mile on CS mode (and if CS mode was 40mpg you would have used 1/40th of a gallon) – therefore you have 41×40 mpg!!! eg.
41 miles = (1/40th gallon used) (41/0.025) = 1640 mpg
50 miles = 0.25 gallons used (50/0.25)= 200 mpg
100 miles = 1.5 gallons used (100/1.5) = 66.66 mpg
It’s complete BS if they do that!!! 2 modes - 2 figures. Thanks.

· · 7 years ago

Making everyone happy is impossible. I personally want three numbers.

Average mile range of EV only which we have 40.

Average time to charge battery to full from empty using a home 220 charger. I think GM said they mark the battery at empty with 8kw of juice to keep the battery in good shape.

Standard MPG if there was no battery. This figure is a snap for GM to give but they don't. This makes people question why!

· Samie (not verified) · 7 years ago


My point is to the general consumer. Under your circumstances the $8220 premium in my example for an extra 260 (or 200, - 60...) miles works for you. But to appeal to more than the curiosity of the general consumer, the folks at GM must address the extra premium for 40 miles a charge and/or 260miles ICE you get with the Volt. In my example above, I asked why a consumer would not just buy a Chevy Cruze and avoid paying $10,805 for the 40 miles a charge if the Volt returns poor mpg, that is on average of a normal car once the charge has been drained.

I see no comments on this topic (that is talking about general consumer preferences that have real implications on the market) but typically how the consumer decides (collectively or mass appeal) on what vehicle to buy is more important than shop talk or PR spin. While I have no clue what formula would be right for mileage, I can tell you that consumers will compare the Volt to other EVs and extended range EV's, along with traditional ICE options. I would love to see more economic reasoning in stories on this site and others because I feel that this topic is poorly represented, but is one of the main factors in buying a vehicle and possibly making EVs/extended range EVs grow beyond a niche market.

· · 7 years ago


There are a couple of questions that would need to be answered to determine why a consumer would buy the Volt rather than the Cruze Eco.
First, what are the long term savings of running a mostly electric vehicle. I don't know the answer so i will throw out the figure $5,000 over the life of either car.

The second question then is for how many people is there a value in driving a car featuring new technology that is environmentally friendly, union made in the US, that cuts down on oil imports and of those, for how many people is that value $5,800. Since GM is starting with a production run of 11,000 and there are worries of price gouging, there are likely to be 11,000 people for whom that $5,800 is a worthwhile expense, with an additional 45,000 in the second year of the roll out. But these are just guesses.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

GM’s Volt team is unable to give a straight answer to the American public on the Volt’s gas mileage in CS mode on the 11th hour of the Volt’s commercial launch.
Which of the following is corrected?

(a) With billions of dollar in development by hundreds or thousands of development team members, GM is still unable to tell the gas mileage in CS mode – This does not represent well for GM in terms of integrity or competency

(b) Volt team knows the answer. They do not like it. They are procrastinating in releasing the information – This does not represent well for GM

(c) Volt team released the information to GM’s management. GM management does not like the answer. So GM is withholding the information from the public – This does not represent well for GM

(d) The Volt is on the verge of launching to the mass market after years of development and GM is still arguing with the EPA in how to rate the gas mileage of its Volt – Mismanagement of its relationship with the EPA and does not bode well for GM’s image

(e) Frustrating with its failure to reach the mileage objective, GM allows Phil Colley to bash the journalists to vent GM’s screw up – bad PR management and incompetent

(f) All of the above

GM, please select your answer to the above question or release the truth to the public.

· · 7 years ago

Dear Unverified Anonymous,

I consider myself to be a fairly informed consumer of news and I must say that I haven't noticed any major stories about "the American public" clamoring for the truth about the Volt's mileage in CS mode. It's not a question dodged daily by Robert Gibbs. It's not written in fine print at the bottom of the "No Terror Mosque at Ground Zero" signs. There is no youtube footage of some GM exec running like Sharon Angle from reporters at a press conference he or she called. Maybe I missed something.

There is another answer to the question you ask and it was fairly directly stated above by Phil Colley: "We haven't announced the extended-range MPG because the EPA is still working with us and other plug-in automakers on a methodology to measure it. " When the company has official numbers they will be released. Until then, it is probably safe to assume that the combined mileage numbers will be in the mid to high 30s.

GM is not the same company it was even 5 years ago and is certainly not the same company depicted in "Roger and Me" or "Who Killed The Electric Car?" Maybe we can cut them a little slack.

· Ty (not verified) · 7 years ago

Why should we cut them any slack at all? First they take a bail out. The reason for needing it was the same as wall street, greed. GM was (is?) the poster child for arrogence. Then they jack up the announced price by the same as the tax credit. Talk about double dipping. They have been 'selling' this car for 3 years or more. Time for them to put up or shut up. Nothing they have done absolves them from their past. GM has to prove itself. This kind of crap is why a whole lot of people wanted to let GM fail. It doesn't appear to me that the mind set at GM has changed, dispite what the various CEOs have been crowing.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago


Thanks for your comments.

GM is very much a part of us, the American. We want GM to be successful!

Having the right attitude would help its endeavor and give inspiration to all of us American - being honest, open, and confident in push the limits to ensure our survival and being the best.

First, if the Volt CS' mileage is in the mid or even high 30's, it is a disappointment for a car that was conceived and born to demonstrate American's know-how in delivering an efficient automobile. There are many cars of similar size at less than half the price that already delivering this mid 30’s MPG. The Prius Generation I & II already beat that! So we got to push ourselves.

Second, the above point of getting best mileage on the road is the issue that warrants the Volt team's focus and energy to address it. If it is short of target, have the courage to say so and work with its target customers & industry partners to improve the performance. Seeing message from GM bashing the journalist is not good.

Third, as mentioned above that the Volt was born to deliver great gas mileage. Thus, gas mileage information is critical to help evangelize the Volt. This MPG issue should have been one of the first tasks to be accomplished in the project. So seeing the Volt team is still struggling with EPA at this point is a lesson for next project.

I am critical on this because I want so much to see GM successful with this Volt project so that it would all of us the boost in morale’s.


· SageBrush (not verified) · 7 years ago

GM and its mouthpiece were (are) being idiots.
The car was put through hoops on a track, and the CS mpg reported. Just like the EPA cycle -- if you drive a Volt in a similar fashion, you now know what the CS mpg will be.

The "cycle" was never hidden. Now, I don't doubt that, were the Volt to be mainstream news, some people would walk away thinking "hmmm ... 28 mpg," and not put the result in the context of the test, but if that bothers GM, they can publish other data points. Just like Nissan. The GM mouth accused bloggers of 'lazy journalism', even though the data is perfectly accurate. I interpret the accusation as an expectation of GM that they will have absolute control over what Volt information is seen and when. Hah! No blogger worth reading is going to wait for GM to approve a story before it is published. Otherwise, we could all just read the official GM site. GM has turned 'communication' into an exercise in 'communication control', and they -- as usual -- are making a mash of it.

I don't buy Sexton's defense of GM's conduct as being reasonably gun shy after the "230 mpg" circus. After all, GM has been happy to disseminate estimated AER for 4 years, when they thought it good PR.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

Lets face it:

The VOLT is NOT going to deliver overall gas mileage equivalent to most offerings in straight gasoline powered cars in the world today.

The VOLT is a failure before introduction.

The Prius is the ultimate trump is 1/2 the price of the VOLT and delivers twice tthe mpg.

VOLT is NOT the 'new technology' in the electric cars future.

My 20 year old Geo Metros get 50 mpg and they are NOT hybrids.

GM is NOT going to catch up, ever.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

The Ford FIESTA delivers 40 mpg, is not a hybrid and you can buy two plus change for the price of the VOLT...There are nine other cars that fit this scenario, all sold in America. for $23,000 you can get a VW Golf or Jetta in gas or diesel, both above 37 mpg. Honda Fit, Sonata, Kia, even the Cruze...all better mpg buys for half the cost.

There is absolutely NO reason why anyone would buy a VOLT that was in their right mind and had researched the subject. Granted, there will be air-heads that buy a VOLT because they didn't research the subject, are looking to outfox the Fox family, think they are part of the "In Crowd" or own huge positions in the new GM stock...but lets face it, the VOLT is a dud and will blow fuses out, right along with brains, candles and your wallet.

· · 7 years ago

There are plenty of people that simply do not want to buy gasoline anymore and want an alternative fuel for their transportation. It's not all about the cost. Why do you think 20,000 people put down a $99.00 reservation to buy a LEAF without ever even seeing one in person, much less drive one, and they can only go 90-100 miles in good conditions? Why do you think there is such a demand for Volts that some dealers are charging thousands over MSRP and taking orders months in advance?

It's not the MPG for many folks, it's not it "in crowd", it's not GM stockholders, it's not ultra left-wing liberal yahoos, it real people that want a new direction and more choices with regard to the energy that powers their cars. Maybe you have a different view, but don't think you can speak for the rest of society. Lets let the sales numbers of these cars do the talking. We will see real soon who's right.

· · 7 years ago

If it is always about the cost, then we're all screwed. At least until we actually account for all costs of our actions.

· · 7 years ago

What is a "ultra left-wing liberal yahoo" ?

· · 7 years ago

All this diatribe about the Volt's mpg is irrelevant. The only people who are going to shell out the extra money for a PHEV instead of a commodity-priced ICE or near-commodity non-plug-in HEV are those who expect to run off of electricity an overwhelming majority of the time. Therefore, the amount of gasoline they burn will be insignificant in the small and grand scheme of things.
I'm more concerned about the fact that the Volt is going to force me to empty a tank of gasoline every 1/4 year. If I end up getting one, I suspect we'll only keep a couple of gallons of gasoline in it, for backup only. We'll plan to fill-up with gas only when we do head out somewhere a long way away.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

I have a 75 mile round trip commute and have been driving a Volt for the past few weeks. I charge at home and charge at work, and have not used a drop of gas for my commute. But if I want to drive farther on the weekend, I have that option. And it is a blast to drive! The Volt is a game changer that is needed now to help kick our addiction to foreign oil and provide options to stem the tide of changes caused by global warming.

· · 7 years ago

Anonymous: Kudos to you. There are l a lot of people that would be very jealous is they heard that you have one. Do you mind telling us how it is you came to get one? I suppose you are working in the Volt program and have a pre-production Volt.

Since you are in the enviable position of actually driving one for an extended period why don't you clear the air of this thread and tell us what your MPG is in CS mode?

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

So, the vaporware greenwash volt gets lousy gas-mileage, who a shocker! GMs techologically inferior and (non-existant) volt is nothing but a crude greenwash campaign to try to convince americans that GM is in some vague way, planning to build "clean" cars. Well, for the PR hack from GM, the best way your company could help the enviroment would be to go bankrupt again, permanently this time. That way, you wont have to worry about your clumsy poorly-built vapor-ware gas-powered "EV" getting lousy mileage.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

Tom, you asked me to clear the air of this thread and tell you my MPG in CS mode. Here's what I know: the gauge tells me I've used just over 3 gallons and driven over 1100 miles. Unless you are specifically testing to determine mpg in CS mode, how would you know?

· · 7 years ago

>> Unless you are specifically testing to determine mpg in CS mode, how would you know?

I guess you wouldn't know. What we'd all like is for somebody to "specifically test" to detrmine the mpg in CS mode. We know GM has done it. We know the EPA has done it. The only thing that hasn't happened is for anybody to tell us what was found.

Fill tank with gas. Run until the gas engine fires. Reset the MPG gage (if possible), and keep driving until the tank is empty (or close to it, we don't need you hiking on the freeway). Refill the tank and divide the number of miles driven into the number of gallons used to fill back up.

· · 7 years ago

Yes, basically what Darell said. You do understand why I'm (and everyone else) is asking this question, right?
The Volt is very unique and since it's combines all electric driving mode with a gasoline powered mode it is very difficult to determine what the real mpg of the car is because it will be different for everybody based on how far they drive each day. Drive less than 40 miles between recharging and your MPG is virtually unlimited. SO in order for folks to guess what their mileage would be if they owned the car we need to know what the MPG is AFTER you drive the first 40 miles and the generator kicks on. I know even that will will differ from person to person and from trip to trip depending on driving conditions but everybody just wants a nugget from someone that actually drove one.

It would be great to hear something like " I didn't recharge the car last night so I drove all day today in CS mode. "I drove 83 miles, 50% freeway and 50% city, and the gauge said I used 2.3 gallons" That's all, drive around all day one day (or two) without recharging and let us know how much gas you used. Thanks and good luck with the car.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

And then there is the question: If you wanted an EV to commute with, why didn't you buy a much cheaper LEAF? If you want to go electric, VOLT is the very last choice. The extremely marginal and questionable 40 mile range is for commuting only? I'll bet you get 40 miles with very conservative driving, if that. Down the road those batteries will become a liability. Why did they stop at a 40 mile range?

This whole VOLT thing is becoming increasingly fishy...and while it muddles along, the electric car industry moves forward in leaps and bounds as new electrics come to market in record time. VOLT is a has-been before introduction.

· · 7 years ago


I believe GM targeted the 40 mile all electric range because something like 90% of all Americans drive 40 miles or less per day. These people can drive a volt and hardly use any gasoline at all but if need be can drive the car 300 miles without stopping to refuel/recharge. I believe they decided to do the EREV route because they worry that many people want the flexibility of driving their car further is needed. Remember the more range, the higher the price of the batteries and I think 40 miles is a good target given the above reason. This is especially true for families with only one car. I think there is a market for both pure BEV's and EREV's and until pure BEV's can achieve single charge ranges of 200 miles or more there will continue to be a market for EREV's especially in rural areas.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

Tom: They researched it as 40 miles and then offer exactly 40 miles of range? Not very smart as I see it. All the accessories will come into play, heater and air conditioning...were these factored in? or are we at an advertised 40 miles per gallon with extremely conservative (accessories off) testing? And what of battery deterioration? Battery capacity from new is steadily on the decline. In addition, an engine driving a generator driving the wheels in gas mode, is much less efficient than the engine alone driving the wheels. Engine driving a generator driving a motor equates to less miles per gallon than the engine driving the wheels. There is no way you can get around that fact.

So, what we have is:

- a partial electric vehicle with an extremely limited all electric operational mode
-an engine/generator mode powered vehicle with comparatively low mileage compared
to engine driven vehicles
-an "economy" car priced at TWICE the cost of conventional high mileage autos

There is no possible way that the gas savings will ever reimburse the owner for the premium price paid when new, no possible way.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

Lets try some math:

Pretend the VOLT gets 35 mpg in gas mode and you drive 12,000/year and own the car 6 years...72,000 miles...2057 gallons @ lets say, $3.00/gal. equals=$6,171 for gas and we never used the electric mode!

Initial price: $40,000 plus $6,171 = $46,171 total for 6 years driving

You buy a $18,000 car that egts 35 mpg and the cost in 7 years is $6171 = $24171

You save $22,000 NOT buying the VOLT.

The same VOLT driven on nothing but electric for 72,000 miles STILL costs $40,000

So you save $15,829 NOT buying the VOLT

The government gives you $7500 cash for buying the volt? OK, now by NOT buying the VOLT you only save $8329

Saving $8329 in the very worst case scenario is still a savings of $8329 AT THE VERY MINIMUM...

In real life, you will have been able to buy TWO 35 mpg vehicles and drive them for 7 years for what that VOLT will cost you over 7 years. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.

The VOLT is a fiasco...MARK MY WORD

· · 7 years ago

The debate about the economics of Volt will continue to rage, and every individual will have to decide if it makes sense for his or her pocketbook and lifestyle. BUT I had the chance to spend almost two solid days this weekend on a close course with the Volt, and I will assure you that it's not vapor. I can't report on any of my driving impressions or give any other details yet (due to an embargo) but you should know that it's quite a convincing automobile and is a very legitimate choice for consumers looking for electric-drive. More to come.

In an effort to get this dynamic thread back on its original topic, I'll say that the Volt probably has an 8 gallon gas tank and will deliver its 300 miles of range on charge-sustain mode. I couldn't get a definite confirmation, but that's my best guess. I'll let you guys do the math.

· · 7 years ago

> I believe GM targeted the 40 mile all electric range because something like 90% of all Americans drive 40 miles or less per day.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't also point out that it was the same company that told us that the 100+ mile range of the EV1 "wasn't enough" for American drivers. But I digress...

· · 7 years ago

> There is no possible way that the gas savings will ever reimburse the owner for the premium price paid when new, no possible way.

As long as we don't account for any other costs of vehicle ownership and operation, then you are likely correct. Are environmental and health costs associated with burning fuel cost-free? Does money get us every bit of happiness that we need? If we make every choice based only on the cost of the vehicle and the cost of the fuel at the pump, then we might as well all exclusively shop at Walmart as well.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

Thanks for the straight answer Brad!

Based on the above info, the mileage for CS should be roughly around 38 MPG.

If included 40 miles in pure electric mode before CS mode is activated until the tank is empty, the effective mileage for entire tank & full charge would be roughly 43 MPG (not counting the well-to-wheel costing of electricity).

If Volt user plans the commute around the 40 miles of electricity drive, then he/she can really benefit the Volt's technology with IC engine as a backup.

The above value proposition offers at $40K or around $33K after subsidies, seems to be unattractive to warrant Volt's commercial success.

If the Volt costs the user around $27K, then it's pricing would be at the sweet spot for its value proposition as compare to other alternatives in the market today.

It is possible if Volt team simplifies some subsystem in the car to lower the pricing to that $27K. Remove the bells & whistles and keep the basic to get the price lower.


· · 7 years ago

A couple of caveats: I did not receive an absolute confirmation about the 8 gallon tank. And more importantly, all kinds of things are happening in the Volt's system during CS mode. In other words, the electric motor and batteries are (obviously) still in operation. Based on my experience, I can see how the engine will run very light or even go dormant during CS mode. It's a software thing. Depending on the demands (and driving style), the system could decide to have the gas engine do a lot of work or not much at all. If done well, and I don't doubt GM's ability to get it right, I could see CS mode carrying the vehicle much further than 300 miles. I doubt that GM would say 300 miles of extended range, unless they thought it was the bottom of a range which could be at least a little more than 300.

Again, we need a good set of the first owners out on the road tracking their experiences.

(On the other hand, as recently as April, GM's Andrew Farah hinted that CS mileage would be 50 mpg, in the Detroit News. That seems like a stretch.)

· · 7 years ago

> (On the other hand, as recently as April, GM's Andrew Farah hinted that CS mileage would be 50 mpg, in the Detroit News. That seems like a stretch.)

I recall those hints clearly! They'll have to play some magic with the physical laws to pull that off, me thinks!

· Samie (not verified) · 7 years ago

I share some of Ogden Lafaye's concerns, if you break down the numbers (without addressing hidden costs). One must look at this in the lens of a general consumer, despite considerations that allow early adopters access and ideal conditions to accept most of the plug-ins on the market. I know this jumps off topic of this blog but again lets focus on the premiums (future story/blog) in a non-biased, economic way if we are to have a real intellegent discussion about the short-term future of EVs and extended range EVs.

I respect Tom's comments but to say 90% of Americans could use the battery range of 40 miles (ok at 36 if you discount 10 percent and always assuming ideal conditions will allow 36 miles a charge) is false because you would also need to assume that 100percent of those who commute 36 miles will have access to EV charging stations, say at work to commute back home or else you get 18 miles (one-way). 18 miles is not going to get you far if say you commute into downtown Atlanta for work....

Yes, again my comments are not on the CS discussion but at some point we must address if 28 or even 50mpg in CS mode is enough economic reasoning to address the premium that will always be attached to the Volt unless it is re-engineered to become a pure EV.

· Samie (not verified) · 7 years ago

"If we make every choice based only on the cost of the vehicle and the cost of the fuel at the pump, then we might as well all exclusively shop at Walmart as well."

For greater acceptance of EV's, we must allow cost to be one of the main concerns in the discussion of EVs, that is speaking about affordability not luxury. Concerning retail yes cost is a driving factor in demand or else Walmart would not be the number 1 retailer in the U.S. Lets not dismiss price as one of the leading factors concerning consumer preferences.

None of us pay the true price of petroleum (health/environmental damages), and never will thanks to short-term thinking/politics and subsidies. That is why affordability and best use technology is important in discussing EVs. When gas prices go up based on spikes demand for more fuel efficient vehicles usually goes up as well. Irrational thinking? Yes. But as humans we tend to think about only short-term market conditions and the costs that face us now instead of factors that will happen in the long-run.

· · 7 years ago

Samie: What I said was "I believe GM targeted the 40 mile all electric range because something like 90% of all Americans drive 40 miles or less per day"
That is a fact, not something I made up. However I'm not saying that 90% of all Americans could live with a car that could only go 40 miles, there's a big difference. I was referring to the fact that GM made the volt with a battery capacity to go 40 miles without using any gasoline. They could have made it bigger, at a greater expense, but decided to aim for a number of miles that reflects 90% of the US populations daily driving needs. With the range extender, the car can go on indefinitely as long as you fill it up with gasoline, but most days, most people will never even use a drop.

· · 7 years ago


You've written nothing that I disagree with. Left out, however, is how we can determine what's cheapest for us by comparing what we pay at the dealer and gas station, when there is no level playing field. No "free market" if you will.

Of course price IS the leading factory concerning consumer preferences. And really, that's both my point and my worry. What we call "price" is not what we're paying!

If gasoline costs us about $10 per gallon (when we pay the oil subsidies, the military protection, the health issues, etc), but we only pay $3 of that at the pump - we're making our vehicle cost/choice decisions on dangerously inaccurate data. Of course cost has to be part of the discussion. What needs to happen more often is the accounting of ALL the costs. Something we're not doing when the only data in the calcualtions (as we've seen in this thread) are price of gas and price of car. Stopping all oil subsidies is a start. Let's get the price of gas at the pump somewhere near what it is really costing us. Then we can make way more informed choices.

Since we're all lemmings, it seems prudent to consider even artificially increasing the cost of the things that are bad for us in the long run (cigarettes, anybody?). Price is what drives this, so let's drive the price.

And as we've both pointed out, if we use nothing more than cost to decide what is best for us, then we shop nowhere but Walmart, and we eat nowhere but McDonalds.

· Samie (not verified) · 7 years ago

Tom, my point is if you need to go somewhere you may need to drive back to your original starting point. If we are to divide this up we get 20 miles each way. Yes the extended range can help for the extra mileage but that is not what is being said in the actual statement of only needing 40 miles. We are not at a point of charging stations being everywhere nor at the point of batteries being able to be charged almost completely in 2-5 minutes. Also, we make many stops including dropping kids of at soccer practice or going out for dinner before we consider the need to refuel. That is why I have trouble with the statement as it makes very broad assumptions to get at 90 percent and 40 miles.

I agree, and according to some economic studies, depending on a degree of variables, I have seen an extra $1.60 to $7.30 added on each gallon of gas for hidden costs. But I am extremely skeptical of any political change that moves us away from petroleum subsidies or to address negative externalites associated with petro. Politics and its ideologies usually only focuses on the short-term. This is problematic and it makes us as a voting populace lazy because any change to reflect real market prices of petroleum could reduce short-term consumption in our economic system as well as driving up short-term costs in our economy, as this would outrage most Americans (U.S.). This also is political suicide but gives us better stability in the long-run and helps markets become more innovative with clean energy but again some short-term sacrifices are needed.

I guess were I take issue concerning cost is seeing all the comments on sites such as this one that never try to address the premium for electrification and/or hybridization of vehicles. This is very important and we must try to expand EVs beyond the 2-3 percent dent that traditional hybrids have (based on ten years of market penetration). Where I see many fail (speaking at the time when the technology is produced) is not understanding why GM's first two-mode system did not succeed or why in its current form, the plug-in Prius will not succeed, unless the premium is reduced. I don't see the same demise for the Volt but there are many questions to be answered in the future of this vehicle concerning the premium and consumer preferences with extended range plug-in EVs.

· · 7 years ago

You're right that the subsidies on oil and all of its negative affects is here today, however, politicians have no other choice but to support the subsidies. Once there truly is an alternative, we may see this change. If even a small part of the population chooses to pay for alternatives, they will then put more pressure on the politicians to let those who use oil to pay more for it, after all, a choice will actually exist.
Right now, the price of oil is something we must pay, there is no other option. We are slaves. A taste of freedom or a view of others who are free can be a strong motivator.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

Volt team,

I understand that the Volt is designed around the assumption that nearly 90% of the American’s daily communes are in within the 40 miles range.

Thus, the Volt is designed to deliver 40 miles of pure electricity powered first. Then follows by the charge sustain mode with the IC for an extend range of roughly around another 300 miles on an 8 gallons tank (based on this thread’s info).

What if the design is based on the concept that most of the driving is at speed < 45MPH or X MPH, whereby the Volt would be powered by pure electricity? This is also the condition of which the IC tends to be less efficient. Then have the CS mode when vehicle speed exceeds 45MPH or X MPH. Would this help the system to be more energy efficient and allow longer combined range of a fully charge battery and full tank of gas?

Or what if the Volt learns the driver’s driving pattern and habit and adapts its program to maximize the efficiency of the battery and tank of gas to surpass those of all hybrid cars today?

Unless, the best possible gas mileage for CS mode (an IC driving a generator, which driving the electric motor) is theoritically not as good as an IC driving the wheel directly, then the Leaf's or Prius's propositions would be better.

Volt team, please comment.


· Samie (not verified) · 7 years ago

ex-EV1 driver

I don't disagree with your comments but if petroleum prices reflected actual market prices we would have greater market penetration of traditional hybrids including more choices for consumers. Additionally, we would not have failed attempts like the plug-in Prius or first two-mode system becasue technological advancement would be highly important compared to the fuel savings that you would get from the premium. Also almost every auto-manufacture would be rolling out a plug-in hybrid by the end of this year if markets reflected true petro costs. If gasoline prices are consistently stable and price reflects hidden costs & without tax breaks for oil production, the market would address using petroleum or electricity more efficiently and give consumers quicker/better options than what is being presented now.

Politicians do have a choice but don't want to take risks in the short-term to establish long-term planning or growth. Creating any shift in our energy system is not easy and does have some negative implications in the short-term. Remember politicians think in 2-4 year cycles. Examples can be health care reform that does little to control or manage actual health costs without needing silly subsidies & mandates or say smart financial reform that would certainly have meant going back into a recession in the short-term but better growth/ less bubbles in the future. The point is eventually market forces catches up to government making market prices artificially low but for any politician to address real changes now could mean short-term job loss or higher fuel prices/higher prices for goods which translations into angering the U.S. public and irrational voting decisions.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

Several of the above comments above implied that the price of gasoline in the US has been kept artificially low, thus discouraging the mass market adoption of the hybrid or PHEV such as the Volt.

Could this be true? There are places such as EU, Singapore and other parts of the world with much higher gasoline prices that still have not yet embraced hybrid and PHEV on a wider scale.

Of course, there are other dimensions such as business lobbyist/interests, political will, etc that will affect the adoption of hybrid & PHEV.

For this discussion, let’s focus on what the engineers can do to deliver competitive alternatives to the current IC automobiles. There seems to be a lot of opportunities to push the design envelop to deliver much more affordable and energy efficient cars as compare to the current Volt concept.

Any comment from the Volt team?


· Samie (not verified) · 7 years ago

Comparing the U.S. to the E.U. or Singapore is silly. Government/polices are much different in the E.U. as well as in Singapore, including different transportation systems, consumption rates, and available consumer markets.

Engineering plug-in hybrids, traditional hybrids, or better ICE vehicles can be done but can add extra costs to the vehicle which sometimes means lower profit margins for auto-manufactures. How do you justify these added costs when the consumer does not have significant savings in fuel costs or does not pay directly for their Co2 consumption? example if he/she pays $5.00-$8.50 a gallon for gasoline added costs/premiums are more likely to be justified into a fuel savings benefit. Also, car manufactures need to scaling up cars like the Leaf to reduce costs and to improve battery technology or else general consumers will dismiss it as a niche vehicle. I hope you can see why talking car talk or reactions to GM spin does nothing unless real world economics/consumer preferences are added into the conversation and what role government plays in aiding or discouraging markets towards cleaner renewable technologies.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago


You hit right on the nail head - ...Government polices are much different in different parts of the world, including different transportation systems, consumption rates, and available consumer markets... But all are markets experiencing similar result of low adoption rate of hybrid & PHEV in all of these markets. Why??

The fundamentals of the PHEV's product proposition (responsibility of the development team) is not right yet - prices are still too high, with too complicated user model, that requiring significant changes in user behaviors, which yielding less than competitive benefits as compare to current offerings, etc...

The changes to the product engineering can be done much easier as compare to the changing the government policies and industry's mindset – Product’s feature sets are within the influences of the development team.

The Volt and coming PHEV designs need to be simpler, having lower cost, minimizing changes to customer's usage behavior, yielding better energy usages to facilitate wider mass market acceptance.


· · 7 years ago

Singapore isn't big enough to have enough cars to actually drive vehicle design. The EU is caught with high gas taxes that help fund the socialism there (go ahead folks let loose your arrows). Reducing or (gasp! eliminating) gasoline consumption will only kill a goose that's laying golden eggs.
You're right other government policies are different.
I, for one don't know if the Volt or Leaf will make it. The Leaf is not very much car for a lot of money. The Volt isn't much more. Both target the low end of the auto market with a mid-market price. I'm not sure that is a good plan. They'll have to suffer for a while since I'm sure they are still going to lose money for a few years as they bring costs down. In the end, however, they will get a great market share.
Tesla is starting high and working down. That appears to be working but will be very slow in meeting demand or our need.
Who knows what the right approach is. I'm just glad that folks are trying different approaches. Maybe, with luck and devotion by people who insist on doing what is right, at least a few will succeed and avoiding the ills of oil will begin.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

This morning I am going to a town of 1000 people, 25 miles away. It is the only large town near me. The round trip will be 50 miles. I will drive there in my 1994 Geo Metro at a cost of one gallon of gas ($3.29/50 mpg). My 1989 Geo Metro would get 53 mpg.

This technology is 21 years old minimum, and just beats a brand new Prius on economy.

You can't tell me Prius is unsuccessful or that car companies can't match Geo Metro's stellar economies.

You won't drive 2000 miles on vacation in Singapore or anywhere on the European continent, and consider it as a normal length vacation, as we do here in America.

No matter what the cost per gallon/subsidies/artifical inputs etc etc etc...high mileage cars must be developed and America must adapt to them.

VOLT is NOT a brillant technological breakthrough, it is a dead-end, offering even less than automobiles before it, current offerings and projected future vehicles.

1-an engine driving 2- a generator driving 3- an electric motor is NOT an efficient motion production machine.

When you look to the shipping industry you see every motor/engine/generator configuration possible, has been tried and the ONLY one that is the most efficient AND with the lowest maintenance costs is DIESEL.

Directly driven diesel engined cars are the most efficient...if you couple this with an alternative electric battery/motor system that is externally charged (plug-in), you have the cheapest, most efficient, long lasting system available to us today.

America must wake up to the false emissions standards being forced on automakers by California bureaucrats so that diesels become a viable system such as Europe enjoys today.

Crash worthiness standards need to be LOWERED not raised. Some of the demands in this field are simply ludicrous. You can't legislate against chance. Our vehicle safety laws work against needed progress in the automotive field.

You can talk all you want about the "true" price of gasoline, subsidies, economic mumbo jumbo, comparative economic blather etc etc...however, you are simply trying to obfuscate realities to fit your ideas of what is real and what fits in your cereal bowl to satisfy your desires.

A little more objectivity to the discussion please.

· · 7 years ago

>> A little more objectivity to the discussion please.

Whoa. So as long as we agree with your oppinion, we're more objective? How objective is it to say that diesel cars are the most efficient? Especially when they aren't? By a long shot.

It sounds like we want the same goal. There is no one perfect way to get there. You work toward what you think is the best way, and the rest of us will work toward what we think is the best way. The goal is to meet up at the end and shake hands for a job well done. When you imply that the people who speak of the true cost of gasoline are delusional, we get further from the goal... not closer.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

Twist what I say all you like darelldd, When something as big as the 1000 ft. ships common to the shipping industry are ONLY powered by diesel you can only surmise that it is because direct diesel is the best and cheapest motive power in the world. The 1500 ft. long container ships use an engine that produces 110,000 horsepower darelldd. A comparative steam vessel would use THREE times the fuel to produce that kind of power. Steam, steam electric, diesel electric and turbines all use more fuel...thas-a-FACT son.

By a long shot? are talking to a lifelong diesel engineer. Which comic book did you get your information from?

The people who talk of the real cost of gasoline are not delusional nor did I say they were. What they are doing is trying to hide the facts of the matter surrouinding the VOLT behind market conditions that apply to all automobiles. There is no magic wand that the VOLT is going to use to circumvent reality. Talking about the economics of oil applies equally to all autos and is far from relevant in this discussion.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

P.S. The FIESTA diesel in the United Kingdom gets 76 mpg and is readily available to the general buying public. Some of the diesel powered Japanese micro cars get much better than that.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

How many of you folks discussing the VOLT are employees of General Motors or its suppliers and related affiliates?

Raise your hands.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

PRIUS plug-in hybrid delivers 70.1 mpg

· · 7 years ago

>> · Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 16 hours ago
Twist what I say all you like darelldd,

After losing a huge response post to the dreaded "page cannot be displayed" devil, I'll happily let the readers decide who is twisting words... And who realizes that EVs are more efficient than diesel can ever hope to be.... and efficiency does not equate to "cheapest"... and that we're talking about cars and not ships.


· · 7 years ago

Darell, I appreciate your restraint. Thank you.

Ogden, I would hope that we can have a discussion without any derogatory comments. In my experience, it's the people who yell loudest about something who have the least knowledge of a topic. It sounds like you may be different, but it's hard to tell because I'm so put off by the way you framed your argument.

I, too, think there's a place for efficient diesels in the mix and I tend to agree with Darell that hopefully we can all espouse our own arguments for reducing our dependence on the black stuff and then come out on the other side and shake hands when it all settles out--because that's what it's all about.

But in terms of which is the most efficient form of transportation, that entirely depends on what type of transportation you're talking about and how much of the entire lifecycle of energy usage you take into consideration (i.e. how the energy is mined or harvested, how it is processed and transported to a given facility, how it is turned into "fuel", how it is delivered to the customer, how it is converted into movement in the vehicle and all the losses associated with those things). If you take all of that into consideration, in my mind, and based on many studies at this point, I think it's pretty clear that transportation powered by electricity (when feasible) is the most efficient out there.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

Well Nick, I agree with you on electric being the cheapest motive power but I was referring to Internal Combustion motivators. Diesel is by far the cheapest.

Apparently you are not aware of darrlldd's constant and rather subtle snipes?

I think subtle is the key word here. I am not one to mince words or let a slap go by the board.

I believe there are ulterior motives in a lot of these posts. Hence the "raise your hands" post. I am quite sure GM has a special "platoon" of Internet surfers out there allaying fears, countering negativity and hoping and praying the American public doesn't come to realize that the VOLT is a huge SNAFU and GM is pedaling egregious and false informatioon as fast as it can. Apologists are a reality when it comes to the VOLT.


· · 7 years ago

Ogden, I'm about the farthest thing you'll find from a conspiracy theorist, so I'll have to beg off on any discussion about auto industry "plants" or somesuch thing. I've been deep in the auto industry in the last three years, and, although there does appear to be a lot of backstabbing, typical business BS, and regular old doltheadedness, I've seen no evidence of conspiracies and, I fully know that Darrell is not a GM spy and I certainly wouldn't call him a GM apologist (having read many of his hundred or so comments on this website), but I'll leave the bulk of his defense up to him if he chooses.

Also, if we're talking about the Volt, we are talking about electrically driven cars, because that's what it is for the first 40 miles so that's why I brought up the lifecycle issue. Your argument about how the Volt is a mistake because it doesn't get the mileage of a Prius or a late model 90s Geo does not take the added value of a 40 mile electric range into consideration. If you are looking at the Volt as another car to drive 300 miles in a day and only plugging it in once in that entire 300 mile range, then yes, the Volt would be a silly choice for you (if you're only concerned about economics, that is) because it would return lower mpg than a Prius. But if you're like the 90% of Americans that drive less than 40 miles a day, you'll greatly benefit from the Volt's technology.

As was said before, it's all about choices and giving everyone the right car for their particular situation. Diesel, PHEV, BEV, CNG, small car, big car, family car, pickup, etc... they all have a place.

· · 7 years ago

> Darell, I appreciate your restraint. Thank you.

Oy. It isn't easy! Way out of my comfort zone. ;)

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

People are not cognizant of the fact that pure electric driven vehicles are quite simple, easy to design, contain very few parts and are extremely long-lived.

I expect electric vehicles will last a very long time. I can't say the same for the batteries but with projected lifetimes of 10 years and more, I imagine that battery replacement will not affect the huge savings in the very very long run. A directly driven (motor in wheel) electric car is the most efficient.

The initial cost of a pure electric vehicle is predicated on the cost of the batteries. As more and more electrics hit the streets, this cost will come down considerably. In addition, there are companies like China Sun Group High Tech (CSGH) that have proven Lithium IRON Phosphate battery technology that far exceeds Lithium Ion in longevity yet can be produced at a significantly lower cost. This company is even now expanding their plant facilities for a production run of these batteries.

Battery technology is rapidly improving and many are the new designs being proposed, investigated, improved and critiqued by the battery development community. I expect amazing progress in the next ten years.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

VOLT negativity is a fact and if anyone believes GM is just sitting there doing nothing then I have a piece of Arizona realty overlooking the ocean that I would like to sell you.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago sure have some good columns out there Nick.

· Bob P (not verified) · 7 years ago

First, let me say that I would NEVER buy a GM product, if only because they took a GOVT bailout, screwed over the previous investors (with the help of the govt) and have absolutely no ethics whatsoever. Personally, I hope the whole company shuts down.

With that said, I wonder how much range they could have added by replacing ALL the space taken up by the ICE, gas tank/etc by MORE BATTERIES. This would probably have made the car have closer to a 100 miles range, just like the leaf. Sadly, GM just could not let go of the gas handle - that tug to keep as firmly planted in bed with the oil companies as they could. There is no earth breaking engineering here, just a sad (and costly) attempt at bilking some unsuspecting people who have already proved that a sucker is born every minute.

· Bob P (not verified) · 7 years ago

Ogden, if, as you say, the cost of the cars will come down dramatically as the price of the batteries gets less, then that does not bode very well for the resale value of these cars then, does it???

That's right - all you people that think you love the leaf or volt had better REALLY love it, because there won't be any trading these cars in after a 3 or 4 year lease is up, their residual values will drop faster than an electric drag racer leaving the starting line!

· · 7 years ago

Bob, but that's the whole point of a lease. You don't have to worry about trading it in or getting your money back because you can just drop it off at the dealer at the end of the lease and let the manufacturer deal with any drop on resale value! Problem solved!

· · 7 years ago

Bob -

The Volt could do close(r) to 100 miles simply by using the full capacity of the battery pack it will be shipped with. If all the ICE components were replaced with extra battery, then the range would be *significantly* greater than 100 miles. My first EV was a lead-acid EV1 - built for 1996 model year. I regulary got 100 miles of range with that car. The same company that made that car for 1996 should be able to do a bit better 14 years later - if they really wanted to. But they took that big holiday in the middle there and forgot a few things, apparently. (Is this a good place to mention that back in the EV1 days, that GM claimed that 100 miles of range wasn't enough for most American drivers? And suddently in 2010, 40 miles IS enough?)

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

darelldd...100 miles? You are saying the battery pack that is coming with the VOLT has a 100 mile range potential? News to me.

Please clarify.

· · 7 years ago

Ogden, making this request of you again may not work (and in fact it may incite you to do the exact opposite of what I'm asking... my long history of moderating comments tells me that's highly likely) but please stop resorting to derogations.

· · 7 years ago

> darelldd...100 miles? You are saying the battery pack that is coming with the VOLT has a 100 mile range potential? News to me.

"News" would be that GM is allowing full use of the pack's capacity. But because that is not the case, there is no news here. I am simply pointing out the obvious: The Volt BMS will only allow about 50% of the pack's capacity to be used - and with that limited usage, the car has been demonstrated to drive over 40 miles. If the Volt were allowed to use the full capacity of the battery pack (as my Rav4EV is allowed to do) then the car would have the potential for 80+ miles of range. And I was calling that 80 miles "close(r) to 100 miles."

I'm actually pretty impressed that they're able to get 40 miles out of 8.8 usable kWh. That's almost in line with the EV1's efficiency... and definitely better than my Rav4.

· · 7 years ago

Thanks Nick!

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

Nick..hint taken problem

darreelldd...It was my understanding from GM released information, that the internal combustion engine kicks in when the battery on the VOLT is depleted to 15%...and thats a fact according to GM.

· · 7 years ago

Ogden -

At 15% SOC, you cannot assume that 85% of the pack's capacity has been used. The Volt won't allow the pack to fully charge... or discharge. This means that the battery will never be at 100% nor at 0%. Initially, about 8.8 kWh of the 16 kWh pack will be used. Only the middle ~50% of the SOC will be used - the idea is that this creates the longest-lasting battey situation. It is unknown if the car will slowly release more usable capacity as the overall capacity diminishes. Doing this would allow the consumer to avoid experiencing the degredation of the pack.... until that time when using 100% of the pack isn't enough to keep up.

· · 7 years ago


I haven't read anywhere that the volt will release more usable capacity as time goes on, but that doesn't mean it won't. I have been thinking about that for a while now and even tried to ask it when GM had a live Q&A podcast a few months ago but my question wasn't picked. I would hope that they can do that because it would be a shame if they don't allow you to use as much of the battery as possible as time goes on and the pack degrades.

Ogden- I'm pretty sure the generator kicks in at 30% SOC, not 15%. As Daryll pointed out it only uses roughly 30-80% SOC. It will never go as low as 15%. Deep discharge is something you do not want to frequently do with a li-ion pack, it will severely shorten the lifespan.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

Well Tom, you may be right and my memory faulty. One thing for certain is that GM has issued a whole lot of garbage statistics and now has to deal with the realities that people like us demand. They are not responding.

It is like trying to get directions from someone that is lost and won't admit it. Beautiful directions, detailed, precise, full of points of interest and ultimately incorrect.

15% as a severe discharge? OK

30% as the bottom line? OK...but why can't it be charged to a full 100% like any lead-acid battery?

Whatever the limits, the vehicle is advertised as capable of 40 miles of range on one charge before the engine kicks in and sustains charge equal to moderate demands.

Thats another thing, what if you lose charge before some mountain climbing highway? That engine is not going to give what is needed. Like the Model T and its gravity feed fuel system...there are going to be a lot of "hilly hill" stories.

Anyone recall the Horsepower of the ICE VOLT engine and do you realize that KW (kilowatts) produced by lets say 100 horsepower driving a generator will only yield 75 Kilowatts? Essentially there is a 25% loss and that does not include losses in the motor being driven which is usually another 25% in the worst case. How much does this VOLT weigh folks? Lets say we get a usuable 60 horsepower to the driving wheel, is this going to propel the weight of the VOLT up a series of hills at a legal speed?

I have really valid questions based on years of dealing with these same machines used in every possible configuration and let me tell you: That VOLT is going to be a dud. The stories will be hilarious however.

· · 7 years ago

30% is the correct number. It isn't an *exact* figure, but it is the target. And yes, 15% SOC is a relative deep discharge for Li-Ion.

Li-Ion and lead-acid are totally different animals. Lead acid desperately wants to be kept fully charged at all times. Li-ion does not - and produces serious heat at the top end. Comparing one to the other just can't be done - beyond the fact that they're both energy storage devices.

As for the rest of it... there is a "mountain mode" that will be available as a manual choice for the driver to keep an increased cusion of battery reserve. Will it be enough? Nobody knows until the car is out in the wilds. One thing is for certain - they're testing the hell out of it in every conceivable situation. The same argument you are making against the Volt on hills could be made against the Prius as well. In fact it still IS made about the Prius - and I drive mine up serious hills, overloaded and pulling a trailer. I never need more than it keeps offering.

The proof will be in the pudding.

· · 7 years ago

Tom -

Ah, bummer that didn't get answered. But seriously... if it is *never* released, then it is a huge waste of resources and money. Imagine losing half your range while still having half of the battery off limits. Ug!

I've never heard it discussed before either. Eventually we'll know the answer. But with all the talk of being "transparent" there sure is a whole lot we don't know about the operation of this car.

· · 7 years ago

I'm guessing if that were the case, and the car will adjust to allow more battery to be used as it degrades, GM would have already bragged about how they are going to squeeze every mile out of the battery. I have never heard anything about this from anyone at GM.
This is a big issue and I think we would have heard about it if they had designed it to do that. Maybe as the car gets older the service department will be able to adjust the usable battery range manually?

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

People are not cognizant of the fact that pure electric driven vehicles are quite simple, easy to design, contain very few parts and are extremely long-lived.

I expect electric vehicles will last a very long time. I can't say the same for the batteries but with projected lifetimes of 10 years and more, I imagine that battery replacement will not affect the huge savings in the very very long run. A directly driven (motor in wheel) electric car is the most efficient.

The initial cost of a pure electric vehicle is predicated on the cost of the batteries. As more and more electrics hit the streets, this cost will come down considerably. In addition, there are companies like China Sun Group High Tech (CSGH) that have proven Lithium IRON Phosphate battery technology that far exceeds Lithium Ion in longevity yet can be produced at a significantly lower cost. This company is even now expanding their plant facilities for a production run of these batteries.

Battery technology is rapidly improving and many are the new designs being proposed, investigated, improved and critiqued by the battery development community. I expect amazing progress in the next ten years.

· · 7 years ago

@ Ogden Lafaye,
There have been a lot of huge improvements in motor and power supply technology over the past couple of decades, primarily driven by IGBT transistor technology. The ". . . 25% loss and that does not include losses in the motor being driven which is usually another 25% in the worst case." that you describe simply no-longer exists. Motor and generator technology are in the low 90% efficiency and battery charging and discharging are in that same range as well.
This means that generator - to - motor loss is only around 15% total (assuming notional 93% efficiencies in each leg). Generator - to - battery - to - motor efficiency will suffer around 25% losses but the point is that with 40 miles of EV range, this will only happen less than 10% of the time for most people.
It also means that you diesel engine experts can focus your attention on designing diesel engines that are optimized for a single operating RPM and Torque. This will enable elimination of timing and transmission losses since the electric part of the Volt's drivetrain is well suited to handle variable speeds and acceleration so the ICE doesn't have to.
We need to take your wealth of ICE knowledge, couple it with the new electronics technology and create truly optimal transportation.
Also, as an old (obsolete) steamturbine navy man, I can assure you that ships today are looking toward the diesel (actually co-diesel) or gas-turbine engine driving a generator-motor combination in order to reduce fuel consumption as well. See where you'll find that "Shifting to integrated electric-drive propulsion can reduce a ship’s fuel use by 10% to 25%; some Navy ships are to use integrated electric drive.?"
Railroad locomotives have found electric drivetrains to be superior to direct-drive for the past 70 years or so. Huge earth movers today are finding the diesel-electric drivetrain to be preferable to hydraulic systems as well.
I, also, do not work for nor even particularly like GM. The @#$%%^ 's took my EV1 away from me, crushed it, then told the world that I was weird and that nobody with any sense actually wanted it!

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

ex-EVi driver

WOW...dynamite post... lots of FACT, ideas and lots of hyped up information...I can't shoot from the hip with you...One at a time:

1st case: A constant speed engine of 100 hp driving a generator loses to the tune of 25% irregardless of some super computer is simply CONSTANT SPEED and the end KW product always equals 75% irregardless of some 1 or 2% increase due to temperature, barometric pressure or super generator design. One two, maybe three % difference doesn't FACTOR INTO THE DISCUSSION...bringing it up simply obfuscates the facts and cast doubts throughout the discussion (Nick will love this)

I already allowed 15% in variables which I thought was very generous...I implore you to acknowledge this and factor it in.

2nd case:

"25% loss and that does not include losses in the motor being driven which is usually another 25% in the worst case." that you describe simply no-longer exists."

I understand, essentially what you are saying is that they no longer exist at 25% levels.

2nd case: " Generator - to - battery - to - motor efficiency will suffer around 25% losses" This is wishful, vapor thinking, totally separated from traditional figures... Why would we suddenly have a 25% improvement ? because it is related to vehicles?

Engine-to generator-to motor losses are pretty well fixed, nor transitors, magic boxes or wishful thinking will ever make much of a dent in. Final delivery will alway hover around 50 to 60%...thats a well established FACT

3rd case: "It also means that you diesel engine experts can focus your attention on designing diesel engines that are optimized for a single operating RPM and Torque."

You mean to tell me that you don't realize that this has been the focus of large ships throughout the world for some 90 years now? The diesel motive power of these behemoths is the most optimized motive power in the think some $40,000 titanium turbine wheel is beyond their reach when it costs $60,000/daily to run one of these mammoths? You have to get a grip on the fuel costs related to driving these mammoths through the seas. These engine are multi-turboed, rail injected, two cycle, liquid cooled piston, inline MONSTERS and each cylinder has a myriad of sensors and a bagful of adjustments that can be monitored and changed while it runs like a madman across the seas. The fuel is the cheapest and coarsest and engineers are able to squeeze every single smidgen of energy from it with NO CLINKERS!!!! NO SMOKE!!!! and they scavenge heat for auxiliary boilers in the process...these are 10's of million dollar plants. We monitor every aspect of the plant on a ONE HOUR basis...they run our asses off and the computers crunch this information every second and adjust accordingly.

Timing? Transmission losses? what the hell? There are NO transmissions!!!, it is all direct drive and instantly reversible through a sliding arrangement in the valve train. Stop the shaft and back up instantly. They start at 30 rpm! and run (full speed) at 125 rpm or less!!! They are about a 1/3 of a city block long and all inline (only way to go)

Timing? Jesus, thgere are a myriad of timing adjustments and the computer monitors everything constantly...we time on a constant basis...running full bore across the ocean is a "balls to the wall" operation as has been every ship to sail the seas. Breakdowns are constant, many in a day...but you had better believe, that engine never slows down...the backup systems are everywhere, mind-blowing and miraculous. It is almost impossible to stop one of these engines through some emergency condition...back ups kick in and we move like lightning in an is one of the most dangerous jobs on the actuary tables of the insurance companies...I have sailed as 2nd engineer or Chief Electrician for tons of years on every imaginable drive types and it is hairy and scary...let me tell you.

3rd case: "This will enable elimination of timing and transmission losses since the electric part of the Volt's drivetrain is well suited to handle variable speeds and acceleration so the ICE doesn't have to."

Are you kidding? The variables of speed and acceleration are where the largest losses are.

4th case: "Also, as an old (obsolete) steamturbine navy man, I can assure you that ships today are looking toward the diesel (actually co-diesel) or gas-turbine engine driving a generator-motor combination in order to reduce fuel consumption as well. See where you'll find that "Shifting to integrated electric-drive propulsion can reduce a ship’s fuel use by 10% to 25%;"

You actually believe that Navy pablum? The NAVY is FAMOUS for goofy ships and highly inefficient drive ideas. Every screwball new idea is tried on Navy ships first.
I was with the Department of Defense and sailed on some of these "famous" (laughter, lots and lots of laughter) screwball designs and they were hilarious...I sailed on one of the latest twin turbinesupply vessels that ate HUGE amounts of fuel and had an engine down for four months because some Navy screwball forgot to re-boot the computer (Thasa FACT son) would still do 23 knots...laughter and ate ENORMOUS amounts of fuel...My grandmother would have banned it from the dinner table...we don't serve hogs son.

I sailed on a diesel electric drive that was a constant breakdown scenario...some goofy V-design, huge diesels driving a generator in addition to driving through a clutch/reverse arrangement that failed almost every time we engaged it. Docking was exquisite at first and then tug-assisted for the rest of the "life" of this mirthful iteration of Navy thinking.

I sailed on the very very infamous Schyuler Otis Bland...where the special high pressure DD type boilers would lose water in the sight glass suddenly and no matter what we did, would not appear for 10, 20 or 30 minutes afterwards and they played with this ships for YEARS trying to figure it our because they wanted to go to "super critical" boilers (which they thankfully never did) super critical, high pressure boiulers where you melt the whole plant down in SDECONDS if something went wrong...and then I sailed on super fast multi boilered cargo vessels that ate fuel like a hog at a hot dog festival and were eventually sold to the US government that throttled down the steam stops to 20 knots and we tax payers paid for the 2X fuel usage even at that severely throttled down speed.

Not to mention my service in the Navy on diesel electric ships both AC & DC with multiple engines (6 & 7) in e and aft enginerooms USS SPERRY USS NEREUS and USS CHANTICLEER and my TAD duty to archaic diesel electric submarines? You think I am wrong and don't know what I am talking about? Laughter

I worked on locomotives and drove LeTourneaus so I am quite familiar with a FACT that you are totally unaware of and have taken license to try and factor in something you are TOTALLY unfamiliar wit:

Getting the horsepowwer DOWN onto the tracks with a transmission is impossible in locomotives...the torgue required simply tears them apart.. Ditto earth-moving equipment in addition to the added benefit of driving them 100% electrically with instant actuating switches (no steering wheels, clutches, pedals or accelerators) I drove them for International Paper and I was a whiz...and I am not even beginning to brag.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

Addendum: The electric drive earth moving equipment I operated was the famous LeTourneau...

· Alan (not verified) · 7 years ago

Lets all be honest here. If the Volt cost $25k as it should, then we would not be having this debate. The MPG in CS mode is irrelevant. True, one does have to question why GM chose a gas over diesel engine, but this can be changed. This is an electric car, and if the 40 miles is what most people want, then its a leaf and/or cheaper EV car that will win the day.

IN CS mode the volt becomes a hybrid, and then you run into competing with the Prius and such likes. here the volt loses the battle too. If you are running in CS mode, you are using gasoline - so your dozen or so long trips a year in the volt will be in hybrid mode - and thus the MPG outside of the 40 mile range becomes a crucial factor.

TWO things the volt needs to be viable. 1. An affordable, competitive price - otherwise its dead in the water. 2. A diesel or highly efficient gasoline engine. Without this CS mode will be pathetic.

One has to wonder if LI or Hydrogen fuel cells are the battery of our future ..... but that's a different argument altogether !

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

darrlldd said:

"Eventually we'll know the answer. But with all the talk of being "transparent" there sure is a whole lot we don't know about the operation of this car.

PRECISELY ! GM is talking out of both sides of their mouthes while doing a classic boogie shuffle. They won't answer pertinent questions, and they have flooded the Internet with a large platoon of apologists bent on countering and squashing any voice that speaks sensibly and asks important questions.

If you are one of them? Raise your hands!

You would think that if they really knew what they were doing, then they would have done the deed by now, after all it HAS been 1400 days. Their idea is 4 years old and still not on the showroom floor and GM is already talking about a different, improved engine. They just may change the battery type also. GM can hype it all they want, it will garner a reputation that will ultimately get through to the general buying public, to wit: Don't buy a VOLT.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

alan has a good grip on the situation, why not just buy a 100 mile range, much cheaper EV-only? Or why not just buy a Prius?

Why would anyone pay $40,000+ for an under-performing, untested concept?

I want comment and stats from a number of un-biased testing authorities and not after the thing (VOLT) is released.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago


Based on the 8 gallon tank, reserving 10%, and getting 300 miles that would be 41.7 MPG. So, it is safe to say that the Volt would get 37.5 to 41.7 MPG. I'm first in line to pick-up one at the Hawthorne NJ dealership so when I get it I'll let you know the next day. I plan on putting more than 340 highway miles the day or day after I pick it up.

· · 7 years ago

Anonymous: I have a restaurant in Montclair, not far from Hawthorne. I'd love to get some pictures of you and your volt next to my MINI-E to put up on this site. If you have the time let me know if you could stop by. Maybe even a picture of the accumulated mpg indicator.

· · 7 years ago

Anon and Tom: Brilliant stuff. The New Jersey EV Mafia in formation. :)

We're planning out new tools to allow users to report on their new plug-ins, via community pages and user profiles. Feedback and community involvement is highly encouraged!

· Alan (not verified) · 7 years ago

I can remember when that talking bobble head Bob Lutz was first on about the volt (got a whole hour from 60 minutes!), and how he would stake his reputation on it. My immediate thought was 'The Old boy hasn't got a clue' - and he was the nice old guy who crushed the EV1!

There is absolutely no way at $41k that the volt with its current under performing battery charger of an engine will ever sell (in large enough numbers!). When I heard that they had used a car engine for the battery charger generator I almost fell off my chair - Anyone see that Top Gear episode where the boys build an EV car and May only uses 2 batteries for power and they end up with a diesel generator in the back seat for charging on the go - Even they had a better grasp of what it took to recharge an EV vehicle on the go than GM has. Its really mind blowing to think that GM went this route. A simple efficient (cheap) diesel generator sourced from a company that makes and specializes in generators would have made perfect sense and just maybe the price would have been around $30k. With this lump of junk, anyone who buys this car is being sold a huge dummy!

Guys like me who want a commuter car will buy a Leaf, those who care about not only their pocket book but the environment will buy a Prius!

When hydrogen (yes it is plug in battery power too) gets itself sorted out, then the Clarity will make a whole lot more sense, more so than the Volt!

· · 7 years ago

Ogden, you're the only one on this site who is so anti- or pro- any one technology (in your case, anti-Volt) that it appears you are on a competing manufacturer's, or industry's, payroll. Everybody else here is willing to engage in well-reasoned, objective, thoughtful, and, most of all, cordial, discussion. As a moderator, you're the only person I've had to repeatedly warn about your tone and content.

What does that tell you, and everybody else, about the weight and helpfulness of your comments? I found myself having a very similar discussion with my 5-year-old tonight when I told her that people are more willing to listen to her when she doesn't whine and scream about something that doesn't need whining and screaming about.

· · 7 years ago

Alan, the Volt does not have a "used car engine." I'm not sure if you meant that literally, but if you did it's completely false. The Volt engine is a 1.4 liter, 4-cylinder ecotec engine that is flex fuel capable. Certainly it is an already existing, off-the-shelf component that GM already uses in a couple of different models, but they are not putting "used car engines" into the Volt. Also, quite certainly, the choice of engine was not ideally suited to an EREV application and GM has basically said as much. They plan on changing it in future generations. See:

A better solution would be a smaller displacement and more fuel efficient engine, but it appears that the engine choice was more driven by cost and, perhaps, the fact that new information suggest the engine in the Volt does sometimes directly drive the wheels. See:

· John M (not verified) · 7 years ago

In reading the first 6 or 7 posts, it seems like we have an interesting subtext of when blogging reaches the level of reporting. I would say that when GM starts offering test drives and facilitating the flow of information to bloggers as Nick seems to want, then I would say that blogger has crossed over to either reporter or shill. I for one would like to see more reporters out there, even if the only medium they find work in these days is their own blog.

I sympathize with anyone trying to make a living reporting information these days. I have to believe that the current trends in advertising, disinformation campaigns, the loss of ad revenue for traditional reporting publishers will eventually create demand for credible news and information, and people will find that it is in their own best interests to obtain well researched and objective reporting, even if there is a fee associated with it.

Maybe it will come down to a market segment concept. A certain number of Americans will believe the president was born in Kenya because their friend sent them an email saying it was true. Advertisers will pay money to get at those people, but they don't have a lot of money to spend because they lost it all investing in gold at the very top of the market, because Glen Beck told them how much gold had gone up lately and therefore now is the time to buy. (actually a better time to think about selling, I would think).

So given that only a small amount of the spending power in the economy is vested in these low information consumers, the rest of us are available. But to reach us you have to advertise on credible sources of objective and informative reporting. You can entertain us too, but please don't do it with the news while you tell us it's fair and balanced.

I hate to have to say it, but just like many perfectly sane and reasonably intelligent people lost money in a variety of businesses during the recession, real reporters aren't making much money right now. But they can build their brand, and be ready with a solid reputation when the value of accurate and factual reporting re-emerges, because people reject the inane blather coming out in the meantime.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

Nick, I am quite sure you understood Alan differently. The "used engine" in his post is quite accurate. The VOLT engine was not designed for the VOLT.

Now we understand from you (and your provided link) that the drivetrain in the VOLT is changing once again...once again!

In an earlier post I stated that GM still had not come up with a final drive train configuration but I was wholly ignored...Now you have made my contention credible!

1400 days now and the VOLT is still not on the showroom floor and this is because the VOLT has proved to be a bad deal and GM is frantically trying everything possible to make it viable to the buying public. They will never make it viable to mechanical engineers such as myself. It is pure foolishness, MARK MY WORD !

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

Nick, the problem is that most posters here are subjective, not objective. Objective would be to acknowledge the facts and TRUTH surrounding the VOLT. The problems are glaring, historically demonstrated, simply explained and obviously a stumbling block to introduction of the VOLT.

It is frustrating that you have not risen to the occasion and pursued the opportunity inherent in questioning the manufacturer (GM) in your blogs.

Denial is NOT a river in Egypt.

· · 7 years ago

Ogden, I always get the feeling you operate at some different level of existence than the rest of us... like somehow your reasoning skills work outside of the fabric of space-time and if I was drugged up or dreaming I might actually be able to relate. But, I'm sorry, your "ah-ha!" moments translate to me as some weird attempt to settle your own mind in your beliefs and convictions rather than convince other people of their accuracy.

· Alan (not verified) · 7 years ago

"When I heard that they had used a car engine for the battery charger generator I almost fell off my chair "

Nowhere do I say a used engine .....

I question why they used a car engine at all - the given answer that is was the best way to go at the time does not hold water and only shows foolishness and a lack of control/thought in the design process.

The EV part of the car I'll give credit where its due, its forward thinking and futuristic - but way to expensive. As to the ICE part of the deal, its a bust, a dummy, an exercise in futility!

· Alan (not verified) · 7 years ago

I just came across this article - pretty much sums up the volt dilemma - and it is a year old article!

"Since the Volt must be plugged in to recharge its battery, the draft guidelines factor in 11 cents per kilowatt-hour (current kwh prices range from 8 cents in North Dakota to 20 cents in Connecticut). GM estimates that the Volt will require 10 kwh for one complete charge (40 "ideal" miles, 30 "real" ones), or 25 kwh for every 100 "ideal" miles electrically driven. At 11 cents per kwh, 100 "ideal" miles of electric driving would cost the driver $2.75 ($2 in North Dakota, $5 in Connecticut). Since 87-octane gasoline currently costs $2.75 per gallon, one might say with a straight face that the Volt can theoretically travel 100 miles for the price of one gallon of gas. That is the equivalent of 100 mpg--60% less than GM's claimed 230.

Imagine a 100-mile round trip between my workplace in Arlington, Va., and Baltimore, the first 30 miles under electric power. Using average electricity costs, the $40,000 Volt would use the equivalent of four-tenths of a gallon (one charge, 10 kwh) for the electric portion and 3.5 real gallons for the gas portion, or 3.9 equivalent gallons for 100 miles. This is a gas-equivalent consumption of 25.6 mpg, about half the efficiency of the much cheaper and roomier Prius. What if I only travel 60 miles (say, to Arlington from suburban Gainesville, Va., and back)? Gas-equivalent consumption would be 31.5, about the same as a practical and much cheaper Escape hybrid SUV. "

I guess there's not much more to say - the proof will be in 'the pudding' !!

· · 7 years ago

Alan, firstly, you're right. I misread your initial comment and I'm sorry for misrepresenting what you said. And you're absolutely correct, the choice of engine for the first generation Volt is not that good from a purely mechanical and efficiency standpoint. But no major choice is ever made in a vacuum of one or two overarching considerations. What I mean by that is, when making the decision to put a less than perfect combustion engine in the Volt, I'm sure there were thousands of man hours devoted to analyzing everything from efficiency tradeoffs to scalability to cost to ease of supply to current service technician knowledge to... well, you get the idea.

Also, as for the article from Forbes, it is correct in so far as its reasoning that people will drive more than 40 miles every day and not have a place to charge up in between drives. If the Volt driver comes back to his or her home, or has access to public charging at either work or some other venue, then they could drive much more than 40 all-electric miles on any given day. In most cases an all-electric like the LEAF will be plenty of car for almost every person, but if you really do suffer from range anxiety, or you never know when you'll have to travel 100 miles on a dime, then the Volt may just be for you.

It's about choices, and, like you say, the proof's in the pudding. Soon enough anybody's opinion about what types of cars resonate with the buying public will be either trashed or supported by actual facts and statistics.

· Ogden Lafaye (not verified) · 7 years ago

Nice and real post Alan...I have been saying essentially the same for weeks now...amazing how many people don't "get it"

The VOLT is a PIG with lipstick.

· Alan (not verified) · 7 years ago

There may be hope yet! - spent a number of hours discussing the 'merits' of the volt with a pro-volt prospective on Friday - said he did not care about what engine the volt had, said he preferred gas over diesel as diesel has never really been accepted in the US - well if all the prospective volt buyers think like this .... they could have a winner ! - at first I was a little stunned, then it dawned on me, the majority of car buying folk this end of the pond have never been exposed to the new gen efficient and clean diesel engines - I guess the folks at Chevy neither !

I will concede that the volt prospective did say that they could replace the gas engine with a hydrogen fuel cell engine somewhere down the line as a replacement ...........

· Rick (not verified) · 7 years ago

My beef is with Chevy itself for being so dishonest. This is the EXACT idea I proposed to them back in the 90's and their response was, "This concept is NOT feasible and therefore, we have NO interest in pursuing it"! Funny how it's all "their" big idea now! I also added covering the entire body of the car with flexible, solar sheets to help recharge the batteries. I even have the original letter I sent them, as well as my drawings of the concept car. Way to go Chevy! Really original stealing other people's ideas and claiming them as your own.

· · 7 years ago

GM spokespeople have publicly stated that Americans don't want, and GM will not build EVs or hybrids. Now they're building both in one car!

· Alan (not verified) · 7 years ago

well well well

Just came across this

and ...

which really does beg the question 'WHAT were GM thinking?!'

and puts to rest the purile argument that the 1400cc cruze engine was the best option at the time.

Here we have a diesel gas turbine generator in an EV getting 80mpg - in long range mode.

Oh boy!!

· Joel Grant (not verified) · 7 years ago

The leaf has a 650lb 24kw battery, whereas the volt has a 375lb 16kw battery. The two vehicles are within 5% of their respective weights. I find it a little concerning that nobody has published a figure >40 mpg in charge-sustaining mode for the volt. With the volts flexibility of drivetrain inputs/outputs, I don't see why they should not be achieving >50 mpg in most driving conditions. The volt can mechanically link the engine to the drivetrain over 30 mph, and near-perfect regenerative braking and battery-softened on-demand engine use should stabilize city figures to at least 50 if not 65 mpg. Also, the volt weighs nearly the same as the leaf and has two-thirds of the leaf's battery capacity yet the range performance (although they have not been directly compared) appears poorer based on these factors. Perhaps the Chevy is more conservatively programmed in regards to battery management. It seems like GM may be making compromises in regard to gasoline-sourced efficiency and relying purely on the electrical-only capability to sell the volt, as opposed to really creating what every Toyota Prius owner wanted to buy since the first generation nearly a decade ago: a 60mpg plug-in hybrid with enough electrical capacity for an average day's commuting. Perhaps the volts gasoline generator efficiency is not high enough, or its ability to transfer mechanical energy to the drivetrain from the generator may be lacking flexibility. Any ideas? I see the next generation prius easily making up this deficiency with current technology; thus, I don't see the justification for a such a compromise on "charge-sustaining" efficiency. If the volt really only averages 33mpg after the first 40 miles, it is going to get a lot of bad press and GM should want to preemptively explain this to the public. The volt is an excellent achievement for the world, but why not take this opportunity to make it a benchmark large enough to hold some ground for a while?

For example: Current 2010 Prius combined with a hypothetical ~8kW lithium pack could easily achieve a 50 percent higher combined gasoline-sustained fuel efficiency (50+mpg versus ~33mpg) and have enough range to get the average commuter to work and back. Furthermore, the current Prius is $21,000; it is just unreasonable to think one needs to spend another $20,000 to get a 40 miles plug-in range on a vehicle that makes a massive compromise to long-distance fuel economy for no apparent reason.

· · 7 years ago

@Joel Grant,
The biggest problem that faces the EV or PHEV industry is the cycle life and power output capability of a battery as compared with the cost. If one tries to save money by putting in a smaller battery, their battery will have to go through more charge/discharge cycles in order to go the same number of miles as a larger battery. Likewise, fewer batteries will have less power available.
For example: Tesla wanted a battery pack that was very likely to survive for 100,000 miles. Since the state of the art for cheap Li-ion batteries when they started was a 500 cycle life, this forced them to put enough batteries to go 200 miles since 200 miles per cycle X 500 cycles per battery = 100,000 miles per battery. Note that Tesla claims 55 kWhr/950 lbs for their battery pack. This magic number works out well as it gives Tesla a good comfortable 200 mile range, a good battery life, and with all those batteries, the output power give incredible performance.
Anyone putting in fewer batteries than Tesla will have to do something else to get 100,000 miles out of their battery. What GM is essentially doing is putting 100 miles worth of battery in but babying them by only allowing you to go 40 miles on a charge in hopes that that allows them to last enough charge cycles to go for the full 100,000 miles. As you point out: Nissan's 24 kWhr pack weighs 650 lbs for 100 mpc and GM's 16 kWhr pack weighs 375 lbs for 40 mpc. Comparing this to Tesla's 55 kWhr pack weighing 950 lbs for 244 mpc, we see that Nissan's pack weighs 60% of Teslas yet goes 40% as far with a stated energy of 43% as much. Clearly they've traded energy capacity for battery life. GM's pack goes 16% as far, weighs 39%, and holds 30% of the energy - even more de-rating. Toyota barely uses their batteries so it's hard to compare.
I, too, am disappointed in the poor gas mileage that GM is looking at but don't really care since, if I got a Volt, it would assume 95% of my driving wouldn't use any gasoline and whether that remaining 5% is at 30 mpg or 50 mpg really won't make much of a difference to me.
The Plug-In Prius is only good for gas-free use for people who don't usually drive on freeways. I don't see those people as being a large part of our oil addiction problem so I really don't care about it. I only support technologies that solve the power-user problems.
Would GM and Nissan be better off just adding a bit more batteries and getting more range at a little more cost? Who knows. This second chapter in the modern electric car is just being built. Where are you going to put your money. I guess we'll see how things shake out in the real market.

· jonak (not verified) · 7 years ago

This thread started 3 months ago, and still no answer from GM to the question on mpg in charge sustaining mode.

I'm just about to change my car, if I had this info, I'd know whether to order a Volt - and tolerate the delivery delay vs buying a hybrid now - but I'm getting tired of waiting for GM to answer what must be a fundamental yet simple to resolve question for most of Volt's potential least give us a date when you'll have an answer !

· · 7 years ago

Official word from GM's cross-country trip to LA Auto Show was between 36 and 43 mpg. Call it 40 mpg, if you like.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 7 years ago

40 mpg is good. That is what my hybrid Camry has gotten over the last 3000 miles or so. I would suppose the cars are about the same size and shape, so that is about what you will get with gasoline. In this driving mode, there is little to do with a hybrid, just good aerodynamics and efficient engine. This is of course not the target for the Volt, it is meant to excel in commuting.

· · 7 years ago

Actually, no gasoline vehicle excels at commuting. That's where pure EV shines. The Volt tries to be the Swiss Army knife - the "do it all" solution. Not the best at anything, but reasonably good at most things. An EV on the other hand IS the best at commuting. But not so good at the cross-country stuff.

· Alan (not verified) · 7 years ago

Interim conclusion:
The Volt works, but depending on how it is used and where, it may not save you money, especially in the Northeast or California. In those regions especially, the Prius remains a proven, more cost-effective choice for green motoring.

Of course, money-saving is not the Volt’s only raison-de-d’être. This is an electric-drive car that conserves energy in electric mode and does not come with range anxiety. As such, it advances the cause of reducing greenhouse gases and reducing our reliance on foreign oil. According to our recent green-car survey, saving money is not the number one goal for EV intenders, anyway.

It goes without saying that if gasoline prices go up significantly, or if you live in a region where electricity is cheap, then any cost-based energy-use calculation will tip the scales more in the Volt’s favor—but there is no getting around the high purchase price and modest fuel economy if straying beyond the EV range.

· · 7 years ago

It is far from clear-cut that the Volt reduces GHG, at least when compared to a Prius and assuming grid charging. As for petrol use reduction while in EV mode -- sure, on a personal level. It is a mistake however, to assume that savings extends to a national level simply because you have no assurance that your decrease in petrol use is not someone else's increase. In fact, in our market economy you can pretty much guarantee the latter is mostly the case.

If you doubt me, find one case in history where voluntary conservation has spared a resource.

· wwayne (not verified) · 7 years ago

Consumers bought Kisers, Air Streems, Pacers and Edsels. Why not Volts and Leafs - at least they are not named after animals, Greek Gods or objects in space.

Outside of this and similar blog groups, a car is an appliance or status symbol. What is under the hood is a mystery.

If the Volt gets 37MPG in gas mode why should it do much better on battery only? Unless we all have our own Solar Farm, the energy must be paid for, either to the gas station or electric company. The energy is measured in gallons or KWh and the bill must be paid.

There is PR and then their is reality and we then we have toys for J.J.Leno and friends where neither matters. There are Lexus and BMWs all over the place, why not Volts.

· · 7 years ago

Sure, what's under the hood is mostly a mystery for most people. However, what comes out of the tailpipe, goes into the fuel filler, or has to be fixed on a regular basis isn't. That's where the EV differs for most (nothing coming out, plug-in at home, and don't have to do routine maintenance).
Of course, for those of us who do know what's under the hood, there's finally something new and better there as well.
Also, don't forget that we won't have to fight wars to protect the only thing that will fuel our cars if we switch to an alternative that we own.
I used to fight for our country to keep it strong. Now that I'm older, while I still support those who are fighting, I've turned to a different fight: I produce energy (how's that for making hay while the sun shines :-) and promote vehicles that can use our local energy (I also have a life but I digress). I much prefer the latter, its a lot less boring and painful.

· joe (not verified) · 6 years ago

we don't want your volt, we don't want your leaf.. we don't want to replace gas or diesel with coal.. and I do not doubt the claims, these are heavy pigs with no range

· Former caddy owner (not verified) · 6 years ago

I get around 42 MPG city on gas and about 37 MPG freeway gas (I can't go under 70!). 132 MPG EV city and 110 MPG EV freeway.

Cruising down the El Camino in Santa Clara, CA, the car actually stayed in EV mode for about 2 miles after the gas mode came on. A real surprise. Remember, when coasting and braking, the batteries are charged up enough to turn the generator off at a light or stop sign. You can go about 1/8 of a mile on EV. if the next light is red, you coast ... brake and add more to your charge. I saved $210 on gas last month. I think I'll take in a movie and dinner ... Go to a club ... do some dancing, and, oh yes, save another $10 doing all that. Projected cost of my Volt after 7 years ... under $25,000.

And please, don't compare my volt to a $15,000 car. This car is loaded. You have to spend $28,000 to get the same options. In 7 years ... that car costs $35,000 after added fuel costs.

· Former caddy owner (not verified) · 6 years ago

Adding to the above post, some real world numbers.

I began using my Kill A Watt meter to see the difference range wise between warm and cold weather.  Here are just a few days driving for the people considering an EV.  The nay-sayers may ignore.

Volt:  Monitored using a Kill A Watt meter - City driving only.
Santa Clara Power rates are .08877 per kwh - first 300 kwh
                                               .10205 per kwh - after 300 kwh
Approx. 80% under 300 should give an average of .0914 per kwh
Volt manual states the car should be plugged in at all times when not in use.  I contacted GM's tech support and they stated the car's batteries perform better this way.  I used $3.80 as an avg. price for gas (varies with location).

11/05/11       2.54 kwh              8.0 miles / $.023 = 132 mpg
11/06/11       10.7 kwh            32.1 miles / $0.98 = 124.5 mpg
11/07/11         5.5 kwh            14.9 miles / $0.50 = 113 mpg - cold
11/08/11         1.6 kwh              5.6 miles / $0.15 = 145 mpg - warm
11/09/11         2.0 kwh              5.9 miles / $0.18 = 125 mpg
11/14/11       13.0 kwh            35.2 miles / $1.18 = 112 mpg - cold 
11/21/11       2.18 kwh              6.3 miles / $0.20 = 123 mpg
11/22/11         6.3 kwh            20.6 miles / $0.57 = 141 mpg - warm
11/24/11       5.48 kwh            18.4 miles / $0.50 = 143 mpg

Cost of a full charge is $1.17.  40 miles avg. Per charge.  $0.029 per mile.  3.25 charges per cost of 1 gal. of gas.  3.25 X 40 = 130+ MPG.


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