GM's most talked about plug-in hybrid is scheduled to start commercial production in late 2010 as a 2011 model. The car will be able to travel “40 miles on electricity from a single battery charge and be able to extend its overall range to more than 300 miles with its flex fuel-powered engine-generator”, said GM in its press release.
"From the data we've seen, many Chevy Volt drivers may be able to be in pure electric mode on a daily basis without having to use any gas. EPA labels are a yardstick for customers to compare the fuel efficiency of vehicles. So, a vehicle like the Volt that achieves a composite triple-digit fuel economy is a game-changer", said GM Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson.
The new EPA methodology for plug-in electric vehicles uses kilowatt hours per 100 miles in order to define electrical efficiency. Taking into account this new methodology, GM says the Volt will achieve 25 kilowatt hours per 100 miles in city driving.
The Volt will have two operation modes: Electric and Extended-Range. In Electric operation mode the car is propelled by energy stored in the 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. When this energy is depleted the Extended-Range mode takes over and the car is powered by an engine-generator.
"The 230 city mpg number is a great indication of the capabilities of the Volt's electric propulsion system and its ability to displace gasoline. Actual testing with production vehicles will occur next year closer to vehicle launch. 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's development," said Frank Weber, global vehicle line executive for the Volt.