The mysterious "230" campaign has officially been attributed to General Motors - specifically, to the 2011 Chevrolet Volt. After months of speculation, GM announced this week the results of its preliminary data on the Volt's fuel economy. According to GM, its extended-range electric vehicle is expected to get 230 miles per gallon (25 kilowatt hours per 100 miles) in the city.
For those who have been hiding under rocks, the Volt is GM's latest technological gamble, an extended-range electric compact hatchback that can travel up to 40 miles on electric power only. When the battery's charge is low, the Volt automatically switches to "extended-range mode," during which a gasoline-powered engine works as a generator to produce electricity to power the vehicle.
GM arrived at its 230 mpg estimate using tentative Environmental Protection Agency methodology, meaning that number may change when the EPA does its own testing closer to the Volt's scheduled launch late next year. Under the new methods, the EPA will weight plug-in electric vehicles as traveling more city miles than highway miles on only electricity. Applying the EPA's new guidelines, GM believes the Volt will consumer 25 kWh per 100 miles.
"Actual testing with production vehicles will occur next year closer to vehicle launch," said Frank Weber, global vehicle line executive for the Volt. "However, we are very encouraged by this development and we also think that it is important to continue to share our findings in real time, as we have with other aspects of the Volt development."
Estimating U.S. electric costs at 11 centers per kWh, GM says the average Volt driver can expect to shell out about $2.75 for electricity to travel 100 miles, or less than 3 cents per mile.