The EPA strikes again! After the Nissan Leaf a 99 mpg-e rating but only 73 miles of range, the EPA has slapped the Chevy Volt with a 37 mpg rating and a 93 mpg-equivalent rating. Combined, it gets 60 mpg.
Somebody over at GM must have given the head of the EPA a call after Nissan released the Leaf’s 99 mpg-e rating. I wasn’t too happy about it either. Well now we have the Volt’s numbers and try to follow along with me here.
So the EPA says that, running on gas only, the Volt gets 37 mpg. Not a great figure but not too shabby. The EPA says the Volt can go 344 miles once the electricity is used up. But is that highway, city, both, or regardless? The sticker doesn’t say.
In addition to the 37 mpg rating, the EPA also gave the Volt a 93 mpg-e rating, almost as good as the Leaf…which doesn’t use any gas at all. This figure combines gas and electric driving, so combined, the Volt has a 60 mpg rating, and a 35 mile all-electric rating (which is the most reasonable part of the whole damn blunder).
I get what the EPA tried to do here, and I’m sure many of you readers do too. They are working within the confines of an old system. Maybe you even think it makes sense. Then again, if you’re reading this blog, you have some kind of interest in these vehicles. But imagine the poor schlub stumbling on to a dealership lot and coming across all these numbers, or trying to decipher this stuff online. There is so much old, outdated information out there on both of these cars (GM’s 230 MPG fiasco for example) and instead of clearing the air, I feel like the EPA just added more uncertainty.
Maybe they should have just waited for the new rating system instead.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.