The electric Chevrolet Volt is expected to get at least 230 miles per gallon in city driving. That adds up to about $2.75 for electricity per 100 miles.
General Motors outlined the miles per gallon figures Tuesday. The Volt is expected to start production in late 2010 as a 2011 model. However, there are a few caveats:
- The Volt can travel up to 40 miles on a single electricity charge;
- Its overall range will be 300 miles with its fuel engine;
- GM recommends that you plug in the Volt at least once a day;
- Gas free mileage will depend on cargo, distance, air conditioning use and number of people in the car.
That latter point is huge. What happens when it's summer, 90 degrees and humid and you have a car pool going? When the battery hits a minimum level, the Volt will switch to extended-range mode. In this mode, the Volt's fuel engine produces electricity.
I can see the Volt sparking a lot of initial interest, but there are a few consumer hurdles to clear. Range will matter in day to day driving conditions too. And the price tag will matter most of all.
The Volt is expected to push the $40,000 mark, according to various press reports.
Here's the full GM press conference: