As soon as GM launched its now-ubiquitous marketing campaign trumpeting the Chevy Volt’s 230 mpg city mileage, the EPA — you know, the organization that actually measures a car’s fuel economy numbers — was quick to release a statement saying the 230 mpg figure was not EPA-approved.
The EPA will not test the Volt for a while, but GM has said it stands by the methodology it used to come up with 230 mpg. Basically, the city mileage will depend on how often the driver plugs in to recharge. Some drivers may never touch the gasoline engine, while others might not get a chance to recharge at all. GM took the average of these two extremes to come up with 230 mpg.
Obviously, once the EPA decides how it will calculate figures for plug-in hybrids and electric cars, this number could change, but GM seems confident it will not disappoint customers or Volt fans by touting 230 mpg in a massive marketing campaign.
This begs the question, does GM risk a backlash if EPA findings lead to a drastically lower mileage number? What if the Volt’s city mileage turns out to be 120 mpg? This would be incredibly impressive, yet it would also leave GM with egg on its face after having hyped the higher number and sent expectations soaring.
Needless to say, we and every other car blog eagerly await the Volt’s EPA testing.