Chevy Volt’s 230 mpg in perspective

Broken Sword photo
Broken Sword photo

GM, using EPA standards, predicts that the Chevy Volt will get 230 mpg— an astounding figure for a big-six vehicle.  It’s commonly compared with Toyota Prius’s 48 mpg.  But that’s only because several higher mileage cars, like the 70 mpg VW Polo, aren’t sold in the U.S.

The mpg figure makes the Volt look better than it is, but it’s a huge step forward.  Here are some comparisons:

Vehicle MPG Gals/100 mi Annual CO2 (Lbs)
2008 Ford F-150 2WD 18 5.6 13,320
2009 Honda Civic (stick) 34 2.9 7,059
2010 Toyota Prius 53 1.9 4,528
2010 Chevy Volt (est) 230 0.43 2,868*

* The Volt will contribute 1,043 pounds of CO2 per year based on gasoline consumed in an average driver’s annual 12,000 miles.  That’s pretty amazing.  But keep in mind that the Volt uses electricity, too– of which half comes from coal, and another quarter from other fossil fuel sources.  GM hasn’t released electricity consumption data yet, but it does say that the Volt will cost 40 cents per day to charge.  At an average price of 12 cents per Kwh, that gives a rough estimate of 3.33 Kwh per day, or 1,217 per year, equating to another 1,825 pounds of CO2 emitted.

Volt’s emissions are still 1/3 less than a Prius, 60% less than the latest Honda Civic, and 78% less than a Ford F-150.  Bravo GM!