26.11.2010 Chevrolet Volt PHEV achieves 72 mpg
Official figures from the US reveal that the Chevrolet Volt Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV) has an overall test fuel consumption figure of 72 mpg – 112 mpg equivalent in all-electric mode and 37 mpg from the petrol engine.
This figures published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fall short of Chevrolet's all-electric rival, the all-electric Nissan LEAF, whose fuel economy figures were recently shown by EPA to be 120 mpg equivalent.
Being a plug-in hybrid, the Ampera incorporates elements of both a battery electric and conventional vehicle. Unlike the Prius, a parallel hybrid, the Ampera is a series hybrid – also known as a RE-EV (range extended electric vehicle). The battery can either be charged from an external supply (using a plug) or, more usually the on board combustion engine generates electricity to replenish the battery, which in turn drives the wheels (the engine never propels the wheels directly). As the Ampera emits less than 100gCO2/km, it will qualify for a 100% Green Vehicle Discount from the London Congestion Charge.
The official electric-only range of the Volt is 35 miles, and the confirmed full charge time is 4 hours at 240V. The total range of the vehicle, using both electric drive (35 miles) and combustion engine has been measured at 379 miles. In the tests, the EPA found the Volt to use 12.9 kWh during its 35 mile electric capability. These figures, however, depend on driving technique and how frequently the vehicle is charged.
Chevrolet will now begin deliveries of the Volt in the US on time, a market delivery date that was set over three years ago! The Volt and the LEAF will be the two first mass produced electric vehicles to go on sale in the US, and will be battling it out to win popularity over the next few months.
Known also as the Vauxhall/Opel Ampera, UK consumers will have to wait until 2012 before the Ampera is launched in Europe.
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