Quote Originally Posted by WSJ
General Motors says the electric Chevy Volt will get 230 miles a gallon in city driving, calling it a “game-changer,” the WSJ reports.

The comments came as GM unveiled some of its new products this morning; the Volt is GM’s big bet on new drive technology to create more fuel-efficient cars, even though its $40,000 pricetag is seen as an obstacle.

At GM’s Fast Lane blog, Volt co-creator Jon Lauckner said GM was confident it would have a triple-digit combined mileage rating from the Environmental Protection Agency, which measures these things. Mr. Lauckner said “These preliminary numbers are based on Volt development testing with our pre-production vehicles and the draft federal fuel economy methodology developed by EPA for [extended-range electric vehicles] like the Volt.”

But what about the Volt’s much-vaunted 40-mile range? The EPA estimates—25 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles of driving—work out to an actual range of only 32 miles for the Volt. Mr. Lauckner said the EPA’s new mileage methodology reduces laboratory results to simulate things like driving with the air on, but that “we are still confident that we will deliver 40 miles of autonomous electric range” on the official tests.

And you might see a Volt pickup one day, too: Mr. Lauckner said GM has “looked at applying the Voltec technology to other types of vehicles.”

UPDATE: Daniel Indiviglio at The Atlantic crunches the numbers on the Volt’s payback versus a regular, cheaper fuel-efficient car: You’d need to drive it 158,000 miles to break even. Without a spike in gasoline prices, “the argument for purchasing a Volt will remain based more on environmental ethics than economics,” he concludes.
Source : Chevy Volt: 230 Miles-Per-Gallon, GM Says - Environmental Capital - WSJ