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Chevy Volt leapfrogs Toyota's Prius to become mpg king
by Kathryn Robbins on November 27, 2010
Toyota has long held the top spot when it comes to hybrid gas mileage. Hybrid cars from the likes of Honda and BMW may sport cool lines, but they couldn't beat the mileage that the Prius offered. According to the EPA, the Chevy Volt has now eclipsed the hybrid king with an estimated 60 mpg rating.
The problem with new hybrid or EVs is that the technology behind the cars isn't well known to many consumers. The EPA hopes to sort out the issue by creating fuel economy ratings that represent battery-only, gas-only, or a gas and battery combination. In the case of the Volt, that familiar black and white sticker will say that the car can get 93 miles-per-gallon-equivalent (mpg-e) and 37 mpg from the gas motor.
While these numbers may not top the Leaf's electric-only 99 mpg, the Volt's gasoline engine may sway many car buyers. Chevy has been pushing the fact that the gasoline motor can relieve range anxiety in drivers because there simply isn't a reliable nationwide network of charging stations. If there's no network drivers may stuck within a small radius of their home charging station. In fact, Chevy is so obsessed with the range anxiety issue that they've investigated copyrighting the term.
Another coup for Chevy may be the combination rating of the battery and gasoline engine. The EPA has issued a 60 mpg-e estimate for the combination, a number that tops the 2011 Toyota Prius that gets 51 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway.
While these are official numbers from the EPA, expect them to change a bit as soon as the general public gets a crack at the American made hybrid. Motor Trend magazine developed a battery of tests for the Volt which resulted in a rating of 127 mpg, or a "freaking amazing" 2.36 gallons of gas for 299 miles. Hypermilers and tuners will no doubt make it their mission to obliterate the magazine's numbers.