By on August 11, 2009

“EPA has not tested a Chevy Volt and therefore cannot confirm the fuel economy values claimed by GM. EPA does applaud GM’s commitment to designing and building the car of the future—an American-made car that will save families money, significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create good-paying American jobs. We’re proud to see American companies and American workers leading the world in the clean energy innovations that will shape the 21st century economy.”

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27 Comments on “Volt Birth Watch 156: EPA Repudiates GM Volt’s 230 mpg Claim...”

  • avatar

    Wow. That was fast.

    Wonder why they’re so quick to kill some of the buzz? Because it’s ingrained in their regulatory DNA??

  • avatar

    Isn’t the EPA supposed to be objective in these matters of mileage testing?

    There is enough political CYA and pro-‘merican auto language here to make me wonder.

  • avatar

    surprise! surprise!

    Did anyone think that GM was exaggerating that number? I mean this volt thing was supposed to come out in 2007, I will believe it when i see it.
    The volt is made by GM, epic FAIL!

  • avatar

    “When contacted for comment, GM told AutoblogGreen that the EPA is not backing away from the 230 numbers and that it’s unlikely that the EPA will come out with a much lower number when they actually get to run a Volt through the official cycle. Further, GM believes that coming out with the 230 rating at this point in time is one way to change people’s perception of what kind of car the Volt is”

  • avatar

    Does the Volt even have a feasible battery at this point? Last I heard, it didn’t. The hole in the drivetrain makes predictions about mileage kind of speculative.

    I suppose Orville Wright could have predicted that the Flyer would do 500 knots as soon as somebody invents the jet engine. Wouldn’t have meant much.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    IIRC, advertising MPG figures that aren’t officially tested by/per the EPA cycle isn’t legal.

  • avatar

    “the car of the future”

    The EPA is getting their [bad] stuff from the same dealer GM is.

  • avatar

    @Richard Chen

    I don’t know if those rules apply to cars not currently on sale. They may have a bit of legal wiggle room too, since they are not claiming that it is the true mpg, just an estimate. (sort of like the ones all manufacturers give when intro-ing new models) GM is couching the rating as being an estimate and not the final number, so they should be okay.

    There’s also the problem that the rules for testing EREVs are not done yet, so the EPA couldn’t test it even if they wanted to.

  • avatar

    Supposedly they’ve delayed the intro. Indefinately.

    No 2010. Maybe 2012. Again it’s the batteries. They can’t get anyone to supply good enough batteries at a reasonable price. Is anyone surprised?

  • avatar
    John R

    I really wish GM’s marketing would stop taking their cues from PT Barnum.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    “an American-made car that will save families money”

    I guess that’s true. It can cost less than a full-boat BMW 5-series and it will “save families money.”

    Whatever that means.

  • avatar


    On Monday, GM was saying that it is going to be released in November, 2010. No slip.

    What is your source?

  • avatar

    While bragging on GM, the EPA conveniently forgot to mention that the tab for this entire enterprise is being picked up by the good ol’ U.S. taxpayer.

  • avatar

    You mean the tab for the EPA test, the Volt, GM, or all three?

  • avatar

    I’ll just throw my “taxpayer blanket” over everything that GM touches until we get paid back.

  • avatar

    Um, saying they haven’t tested it is not the same as “repudiation”, guys.

    “Repudiated” would mean the EPA tested the Volt, and found out it gets much less than 230 mpg in their tests. This is not what happened.

    “EPA Cannot Confirm Volt’s 230 MPG Claim” would be a more accurate headline.

  • avatar

    WOW this could really backfire on GM… something about putting the cart before the horse. Either the fix is in or someone has made a HUGE mistake.

  • avatar


    Let’s see…

    The EPA is a Government agency. GM is a Government-owned agency the success of whose products could be positively influenced by the EPA in a significant fashion.

    How could the fix not be in?

    You know, it’s just protecting the people’s investment, Comrade.

  • avatar

    Someone in the EPA didn’t get the memo that GM is now on their side.

    What would be hilarious is to see what mileage numbers the EPA might come up with if given a Volt to play with. Doubtful that will happen in as much as I suspect most of them are wheeled about from dog and pony show to dog and pony show on dollies.

  • avatar

    Does it seem possible that someone at the epa got an email from the whitehouse where the current owner of GM lives?

    Synergy in action.

  • avatar

    They all get it wrong when it comes to mpg. Fill up the tank, check how many miles you drove, do the math. Any thing else is either marketing bs or government bs.

    Now that I think about it we also need a way to count the dollars per mile to include our electric bill to recharge as well.

  • avatar

    So in summary, Nitz explains that the average Volt driver charging his car nightly would can expect to burn one gallon of gas for every 230 miles traveled over time based on the behavior of a particular random population that was studied in 2001.

  • avatar

    ^ That must have brought some howls at EPA, their numbers are based on an eight year old random sampling.

    Maybe the GM execs are as tied to their teleprompters as our fearless leader is. Maybe what the sign was supposed to mean was “23 AC outlet smiley faces to the gallon.”

    It all sounds familiar, but you know what they say about old politbureaus and new tricks.

  • avatar
    Old Guy Ben

    It’s sad when they throw in phrases like “significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”

    They are playing fast and loose with language, as usual, but still. There are people that really think a few thousand electric cars will make a dent in the 11 million barrels of oil PER DAY imported into the US.

  • avatar

    Autocar is quoting a filing to the US Treasury. Now, it looks like some CYA backfilling in case things don’t come up roses, not that they will definitely miss the target date.
    Not what I was first led to believe. I did say supposedly, in my defense. :)

  • avatar

    Any thing else is either marketing bs or government bs.

    Wow! With the new GM, we get both for the price of one! What an AMAZING value that is!

  • avatar

    The 230 mpg claim has the makings of a huge public relations disaster. GM needs to learn to manage expectations for this car or it will end up fueling a long chain of negative tv news stories and pissed off customers. It could end up dragging down the sales of their other vehicles in the process.

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