230 MPG?

GM’s new Chevy Volt was recently announced to get 230 miles per gallon.

Skeptical?  Me too, but this is based on current EPA ratings.  Think 230 m.p.g. is as good as it gets?  Think again.

And as eye-popping as the number was, a rival automaker, Nissan, said last week that its all-electric vehicle, the Leaf, which is scheduled to come out in late 2010, would get 367 m.p.g., using the same E.P.A. standards.

There are a few caveats to the Volt’s mileage rating, too.  Either way, interesting times ahead!

The Volt can travel up to 40 miles on a single battery charge, at which point a small gasoline engine kicks in and starts to recharge the battery. The battery can be also charged in eight hours using a regular electrical outlet, Mr. Henderson said.

Nearly eight in 10 Americans commute fewer than 40 miles a day, the company said in a statement, citing Department of Transportation data. The mileage calculation for the Volt assumes that most drivers will stay within that range and not need the gasoline engine.

G.M. said the typical Volt driver would pay $2.75 for electricity to drive 100 miles and that a single overnight charge, for a customer whose utility charges less at off-peak times, could cost as little as 40 cents. Nissan estimated the cost of recharging the Leaf, which has a range of up to 100 miles, at $1 to $3.

G.M. has previously suggested that the Volt would cost about $40,000, but Mr. Henderson said Tuesday that the price had not been set and that the car would price “as it comes to market.” He was also quick to highlight a $7,500 tax credit.

Nissan says the Leaf will be cheaper than the Volt, in the range of $25,000 to $33,000.

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