[ad#post_ad]Its hard to forget the intense buzz that GM's 230 mpg announcement brought with it on that warm August day last summer. It was GM-Volt.com's highest traffic day of all time with over 100,000 visitors hitting the site, and this author actually flew out to Detroit for the press conference.

230 MPG is what then-CEO Fritz Henderson said the Volt would achieve in highway driving.

The announcement brought a lot of controversy and some vitriolic complaints but in fact its calculation was simple and practical.

If the average driver used the Volt over a fixed period of time, say a week, and drove less then 40 miles per day most but not all days, recharging at night, he would use a certain amount of gas. That number is then divided into the miles driven over the same time period. In that scenario, 230 is what the average driver according to national statistics would achieve.

That approach is different than how MPG is conventionally calculated, and hence the controversy. However, considering the unique operational behavior of the Volt, the method, which was under preliminary consideration by the EPA at the time, seemed reasonable.

However, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the public backlash has caused the EPA to reconsider.

Citing anonymous sources, WSJ writes "the agency is in the midst of finalizing that formula in a way that will deliver more down-to-earth mileage ratings." GM-Volt high level sources also confirm the 230 MPG rating is expected to change.

"We're working with EPA staff on testing of labels that will provide meaningful information to the consumer," GM spokesman Greg Martin said this told the WSJ. "What we're finding is that the Volt and electric vehicles defy conventional mileage labels."

An EPA spokesperson said a final decision on how electric vehicles will be rated has not yet been made.

So what will the final number be? We'll have to wait and see, but somehow I don't think this post will receive 100,000 readers.

Source ( WSJ )
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