/* Google Analytics */

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Not quite 230 MPG

There were a lot of headlines Tuesday about the Chevy Volt claim of best case EPA mileage of 230 mpg. Kathleen Pender of the SF Chronicle (which is still alive) does a good job of dissecting the nonsense behind the calculation. Since the “mpg” figure doesn’t count electricity use:
In real life, the cost of driving a plug-in hybrid like the Volt would depend entirely on how far you drive it between charges and how much you pay for gasoline and electricity.

If you drive 20 miles on electricity alone, technically your mpg is infinite. If you drive 20 miles on gasoline alone, you might get 30 mpg or more.
This is a little more scientific than the explanation developed by comedy writers for Conan O’Brian, who noted that the mpg required going downhill, with a sail, etc etc.

Clearly the EPA guidelines need to be revised to give more realistic numbers for plug-in hybrids. But I imagine GM (aka Government Motors) got what they wanted: free publicity for their new (still vaporware) car.

No comments: