Chevrolet Volt May Have 25- or 50-Mile EV Range, Pending EPA Tests

Chevrolet has made many claims about the fuel economy of its forthcoming Volt over that last few years. It initially claimed the Volt could travel 40 miles before utilizing energy from the onboard generator, but a recent report suggests its electric-only range could range from 25 to 50 miles.

The news emerged in a recent regulatory filing that the manufacturer submitted for its November initial public offering. Instead of the advertised 40-mile range, the filing states that the Volt “has a typical range of 25 to 50 miles depending on terrain, driving technique, temperature and battery age.” Spokesman Rob Peterson told The Detroit Free Press that “it’s not a pipe dream.”

Although GM claims its engineers have been able to reach 50 miles, results will vary greatly on driver habits and environmental factors. Factors such as stop-and-go traffic, steep inclines, and cold weather will all affect range with little depending on driver input. The batteries, which will have a warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles, are expected to lose effectiveness overtime, with capacity expected to decrease some 10 to 30 percent over the covered period.

Chevy has yet to market the claim due to pending Environmental Protection Agency testing results. The EPA has yet to determine just how it will label vehicles with alternative powertrains like the Volt and the Nissan Leaf. If these figures are correct, the Volt’s electric range could be half that of the Leaf, which has a range of 100 miles before needing a recharge. The Volt’s gasoline-powered generator is reported to extend the vehicle’s range by 300 additional miles.

What do you think? GM engineers can complete 50 miles in a controlled setting, but how realistic is that figure in the real world? We suppose we’ll see when the sedan is launched in November.

Source: The Detroit Free Press