It’s been a while since we’ve heard any real news about the Chevy Volt, and now GM has captured our green imaginations by claiming that the extended-range electric car will get 230 mpg. Now the EPA, GM, and of course the blogosphere are saying that number may be too good to be true.
GM used the EPA’s new mileage model for electric cars to come up with that massive 230 mpg. There are two problems with this, though: The EPA hasn’t finalized the electric car methodology; and the Volt isn’t purely electronic. Though the first 40 miles are all electric, the Volt has a small engine that uses gasoline and acts as a generator for the electric motor. The engine never powers the car directly, but this is the kind of hiccup that has kept the EPA from giving its mileage equivalency methods the green light.
That doesn’t take into account the Volt’s carbon dioxide emissions, or if the driver is a pedal-smashing speed freak, or if the power comes from a wind farm or a coal plant, or any number of things. Before the EPA could say, “Hey, wait a minute … ” GM had whipped up a 230 logo with a smiling outlet and a green background.