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  1. #1

    Default Why Love the Volt?

    Why Enthusiasts Should Love the Chevy Volt
    Makes More V-8s Possible
    From the March, 2011 issue of Motor Trend / By Todd Lassa

    If General Motors had sold 10,000 Chevrolet Volts last year, the car would have bumped the automaker's Corporate Average Fuel Economy number by 0.3 mpg. That's a serious increase for a company that sold more than 2.1 million cars and light trucks in 2010. Why should you care? Because a higher CAFE number means GM could keep more high-horsepower, low-mpg performance cars in the mix.
    The 0.3-mpg boost is a back-of-the napkin estimate of the Volt's effect on GM's car CAFE number from an insider. Since its inception in calendar year 1980, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's CAFE estimates amount to a black art. It was never about selling X high-mileage cars to offset Y low-mileage trucks, and each manufacturer has its own goal based on the 2016 total-fleet mandate of 35.5 mpg.

    The 2010 CAFE mandate was 27.5 mpg for cars (light trucks are counted separately, and the way to calculate those numbers is even more convoluted). As of this writing, GM's car CAFE for '10 was about 30.6 mpg, some 3 mpg above its requirement. If an automaker's CAFE falls below 27.5 mpg, the company is subject to NHTSA fines.

    Which Chevy Volt EPA sticker number does GM use? None, actually. Volt's all-electric mpg equivalent is 93 mpg; its gas-only number is 37 mpg. The CAFE number applied for any given vehicle is considerably higher than the numbers that appear on the sticker, because those numbers have been adjusted downward several times to better reflect real-world fuel economy. So the number the Volt applies to GM's CAFE is roughly 10 percent better than the 93 mpg equivalent number. For the new, Environmental Protection Agency greenhouse gas (GHG) number, it's allowed about 100 grams per mile, roughly half-or twice as good-as the Chevy Cruze's GHG.

    The Volt's EPA calculation comes from a formula that uses both its all-electric GHG number, zero, and its all-gas GHG, which is based on the 37-mpg number. Thanks to the complicated formulas, the Volt's all-gas GHG number is expressed as higher than 37 mpg.
    Under NHTSA, the Chevrolet Cruze, for example, rates a 45-mpg contribution to GM's CAFE. The Chevy Silverado Hybrid, with its 20/23-mpg sticker, contributes a 28-mpg number to GM's truck CAFE.
    Conclusion? By law, all automakers must squeeze better mpg out of their cars and light trucks between now and 2016. With the Chevy Volt alone potentially boosting GM's CAFE to about 30.9 mpg this year, the car will help the automaker's numbers more as production climbs. The Chevy Volt makes it easier for GM to continue offering a full range of models, including the V-8 Chevy Camaro and Cadillac CTS-V.

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  2. #2


    Great article Al. Yes the Volt may not be everyone's cup of tea,(I'm a diehard petrolhead) but it really benefits all of us, keeping GM's CAFE numbers up and allowing them to have cars and trucks with the big V8's we all love.
    04 ECSB Custom silver & grey, Soft 8's, BFG KO's, ReadyLift Leveling Kit, Hellwig front sway bar, K&N filter, DeeZee EZ-Down, Rhino liner, Alpine CDE103BT, Rockford 6.5's, 12" V.A.T. Hammer Pro in a Subthump box, Alpine PowerPack amp, Hifonics amp, BackRack w/ 55w 5000k HID KC Daylighters, KC light bar with 4 KC Slimlites, UWS toolbox, Shaved Antenna mod, Black Bowtie, LED backup, license plate, dome lights & 3rd brake light

  3. #3


    It may be a good 2nd vehicle for the work week when we have to be civilized. I wonder how it will feel to drive a car that makes no noise?

  4. #4


    Officially a Volt Fan.

    Excellent Article !

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    East of Branson, Missouri
    Blog Entries


    I'd totally love to be a Volt fan but if I turned electric....I think the first car I'd go have a look at is the Nissan Leaf. Simply because of the commercial, and nothing else.

    Chevy Volt would be my second visit, though!

    "The Sarge"
    1999 Chevy Suburban LT- K2500
    7.4 454 Vortec, 4WD
    305/70/16 on Eagle Alloy

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