The Chevrolet Volt’s combined fuel economy has been rated at the equivalent of 72.1mpg (UK conversion) by the US’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Volt, a car vital to General Motors’ future, will be capable of the equivalent of 111.7mpg (UK) on electric power alone and 44.4mpg (UK) when all of its electric charge has been used up, the EPA has said.
The EPA added that the Volt had an all-electric range of 35 miles and a total range of 379 miles when its 1.4-litre petrol engine kicked in to extend the range.
The EPA is keen to give electric cars and hybrids an equivalent fuel economy rating next to allow buyers to better understand manufacturer claims and have something to compare them next to conventional internal combustion engine cars.
Nissan’s all-electric Leaf, for example, has been given a 118.9mpg (UK) equivalent economy rating and a maximum range of 73 miles by the EPA.
The equivalent all-electric figures are worked out on the basis of 33.7kWh of electricity being the same as using one gallon of petrol.
The combined economy figure puts the Volt as the most efficient car in its class in the US. It would return 176mpg (UK) on the current EU cycle, but this is unlikely to be its final figure when tested in Europe.