Chevy Volt named top fuel efficient gas-powered vehicle

November 19, 2011

Chevy Volt named top fuel efficient gas-powered vehicle

White House taps ’12 Mitsubishi i-MiEV as the best electric auto

/ Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — The Obama administration’s website on Friday named the extended-range Chevrolet Volt as the most fuel efficient vehicle with a gasoline engine and the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV as the most efficient electric vehicle.

The website — funded by the Energy Department and operated with the help of the Environmental Protection Agency — has named its most fuel efficient vehicles among those built between 1984 and the present.

Many of the most efficient models have gone out of production — and even some hybrid models have been beaten by older nonhybrid models.

“What’s new this year is that half the vehicles on the all-time list are 2012 model year vehicles currently available for purchase,” said Bo Saulsbury of the National Transportation Research Center. “Older, low-tech vehicles are being replaced by newer, high-tech models.”

The Volt — which travels the first 35 miles on a single electric charge before switching to the gasoline engine — has an overall combined EPA rating of 60 mpg — including 58 city and 62 highway.

The 2000 Honda Insight with a 53 mpg combined EPA rating ranked second on the website.

The 2010-2012 Toyota Prius, at 50 mpg combined, was third, followed by the manual 1986 Chevrolet Sprint ER at 48 mpg and then the manual 1986 Geo Metro at 47 mpg.

In sixth, the 1986-87 Honda Civic CRX HF was rated at 46 mpg combined.

That model beat the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid, which is ranked seventh at 44 mpg.

In eighth was the manual 1994-1995 Honda Civic Hybrid at 43 mpg.

In ninth, the 2012 Toyota Prius V at 42 mpg combined, followed by the 2011-2012 Lexus CT 200h at 42 mpg.

Among electric vehicles, more new models dominate.

The i-MiEV has an EPA rating of 112 miles per gallon equivalent, with 126 mpg city and 99 mpg highway. The Nissan Leaf was second with a 99 mpg equivalent combined rating, including 106 mpg city and 92 mpg highway.

The 2008 Mini E was third with a 98 mpg equivalent rating, followed by the Smart ForTwo electric with an 87 mpg rating.

The 2000 Nissan Altra EV and 1999 GM EV1 followed behind with 85 mpg equivalent ratings.

Next was the 2002-03 Toyota RAV-4 EV at 78 mpg, followed by the Nissan Hyper-Mini at 75 mpg. The 2001 Ford Think was ninth at 65 mpg, followed by the 2012 Azure Dynamics Transit Connect Wagon at 62 mpg.

The EPA measures miles per gallon equivalent assuming 33.7 kwh equals the amount of energy in one gallon of gasoline.

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