Chevrolet Volt's official MPG: 60 mpg (sort of)

volt_label.top.gifThe Chevrolet Volt will get an estimated 93 mpg-e when running on battery power, 37 mpg when burning gasoline and about 60 mpg overall, according to a new EPA label presented by GM. By Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The U.S. government has finally decided what fuel economy figures to put on the Chevrolet Volt, General Motors said Wednesday.

The final figure is 60 miles per gallon, but because it can run on electricity, gasoline, or a combination of both, the EPA fuel economy label is going to look a little different from the ones used on other cars.

Because of the complexity of how the Volt operates, the fuel economy label will contain a host of other numbers so consumers can at least try to figure out what their own fuel economy will actually be.

Hint: It probably won't be 60 mpg.

The Volt, according to a preliminary Environmental Protection Agency label presented by GM, will get an estimated 93 miles per "gallon-equivalent" when driving under electric power only, 37 miles per gallon when burning gasoline and, over the long term, is estimated to get 60 miles per gallon in combined gasoline-powered and electric-powered driving.

One "gallon-equivalent" of electricity is the amount of energy one gallon of gasoline would contain. For example, the EPA recently rated the electric-only Nissan Leaf at 99 "miles per gallon equivalent."

According to the EPA label, the Volt can drive an estimated 35 miles on electricity stored in its battery before a gasoline engine comes on.

The 60 mpg figure, however, combines the miles-per-gallon figure, when running on only gasoline, and miles-per "gallon equivalent" number, when running on only electricity. Depending on how and how much they drive, consumers could actually be using considerably less gasoline than the 60 mpg figure would indicate.

The puzzle of how to rate the Volt's fuel economy has been especially difficult and the car's real-world fuel economy will vary enormously from driver to driver.

A driver who only commutes a few miles a day could use no gasoline at all for weeks or months, provided the car's battery is always recharged before running down. Whereas a driver that tends to do more long-haul driving would likely burn more gasoline.

GM executives said the label that will appear on early versions of the Chevrolet Volt is preliminary. The way the figures are displayed on the label may change in the future. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 11:09pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.02 0.12%
Facebook Inc 58.94 -0.78 -1.31%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.44 1.68%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.21 0.18 0.78%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 1.43 6.36%
Data as of 4:01pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

GM won't have to tell customers to keep their recalled cars parked until fixed, after a federal judge denied emergency motion Thursday. More

Obamacare sign ups hit 8 million, though final enrollment remains to be seen. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

As Detroit moves closer to reaching a bankruptcy deal, retired civilian workers are poised to be left worse off than firemen and police officers. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.