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Jason_Pic130Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice….well, you know the rest. When Raser Technologies claimed their re-jiggered Electric Hummer got 100 miles per gallon, I thought they fudged a few numbers. But for GM to claim 230 MPG for the Volt…well, that’s taking a trip to fantasyland, with magical goblins and unicorns.

Like Raser, GM came up with their mammoth figure by using averages, statistics, and marketing chicanery. Obviously, no internal combustion engine could possibly achieve 230 MPG—not in this century, anyway. But as everyone knows, the Chevy-volt-230mpgChevy Volt is of the electric variety,
an “extended range electric vehicle” to be exact. This means that, for the first 40 miles, the Volt runs on pure electric. After that, an ICE engine kicks in to “extend” the Volt’s range to more than 300 miles.

According to GM CEO Fritz Henderson, “many Chevy Volt drivers may be able to be in pure electric mode on a daily basis without having to use any gas.” GM defers to the U.S. Department of Transportation which claims that “nearly eight of 10 Americans commute fewer than 40 miles a day.” GM transmogrifies this trend into their ridiculous 230 MPG figure. Yet, by this logic, one could claim that the Volt gets a million MPG. The vehicle itself doesn’t get 230 MPG, or even half that.

An honest estimate would include two figures—1) The Volt’s electric range (40 miles), and 2) The internal combustion engine’s MPG performance. Averaging the two, and factoring in driver habits, statistics, and fairy dust is dishonest.

Note: The preceding represents the view of the editor and not necessarily ECN.

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