Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

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

Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,228.13 133.30 0.74%
Nasdaq 5,301.48 43.99 0.84%
S&P 500 2,160.24 14.14 0.66%
Treasuries 1.56 -0.03 -2.08%
Data as of 1:37pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.23 0.14 0.93%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 6.04 -0.58 -8.76%
Procter & Gamble Co 88.62 0.77 0.88%
Ford Motor Co 12.00 -0.02 -0.12%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 10.18 -0.33 -3.19%
Data as of 1:22pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Shares of jail owners Corrections Corp. of America and GEO Group tanked Tuesday after Hillary Clinton said in the presidential debate that she applauded the end of private federal prisons and urged states to stop outsourcing as well. More

Despite attacks from Republicans including Donald Trump, the Federal Reserve is a big money maker for U.S. government. More

The owner of a new Galaxy Note 7, bought this week in China, says the Samsung smartphone burst into flames while charging. More

Working Mother magazine has released its annual report of the 100 best companies for 2016. And there's some good news for new moms. More