If the idea of measuring the efficiency of an electric car, which burns no gasoline, in miles per gallon still irks you, spare a thought for our green car expert John Voelcker who goes to some length in this previous article to try and explain why the EPA deems it fit to do so.
While that previous article looked at the EPA sticker for the 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car, now we’re putting the sticker for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt under the spotlight. As we all know, the Volt is a range-extended electric car, which essentially means it can drive on electric power alone for short distances and then relies on a range-extending power source, in this case a four-cylinder gasoline engine, to keep it chugging along.
What makes measuring its efficiency all the more difficult is that depending on how you drive the Volt it can use up to two different fuel sources. The EPA has seen fit to measure the efficiency of the Volt using two separate figures, one for its all electric range and another for its gas only one. The trouble here is that the Volt can use a combination of the two, especially when most of your driving is on highways or if you stop to charge up its batteries every so often.
The EPA has it covered, somewhat, but if all this is starting to sound confusing, check out the video below for Chevrolet’s own explanation of the Volt’s EPA sticker. In case you’re still wondering, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt gets a 93 MPGe electric car rating, a 37 MPG gas only rating and a 60 MPG combined figure.