GM Says Chevy Volt Will Require Premium Gas; Fuel Costs 10% More Than RegularBy Scott Doggett July 29, 2010
General Motors told Green Car Advisor this morning that the 1.4-liter gasoline engine aboard the Chevy Volt extended-range plug-in hybrid will require premium gas, which currently costs consumers 10 percent more than regular.
"Premium gasoline ensures that the customer gets maximum fuel economy when driving in extended-range mode," Dave Barthmuss, group manager for GM Western Region Communications, said in an email exchange.
"We don't anticipate that Volt drivers will use a lot of gas, but when it's needed using premium fuel increases fuel efficiency by five percent or greater over the use of regular fuel. Simply put, premium fuel optimizes this engine's characteristics."
The Volt hybrid uses a 111-kilowatt electric motor as its primary propulsion system. When the lithium-ion battery pack is depleted - typically after about 40 miles - the 80-horsepower gasoline engine kicks to generate electricity to the motor and battery pack, extending the vehicle's effective range about 300 miles.
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline today in the U.S. is $2.74, according to the national AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report. The current average price for a gallon of premium gasoline is $3.01, or 10 percent higher than the price of regular.
Still unknown: The Volt's fuel economy. GM is no longer giving estimated mileage numbers, nor is it disclosing the size of the Volt's gas tank, which would allow us to deduce how many miles per gallon the vehicle achieves.
Premium manufacturer's suggested retail price. Very attractive leasing terms. Now, the premium-gas requirement. When it comes to the Chevy Volt, which goes on sale later this year, GM's been full of surprises this week.
Scott Doggett, Contributing Editor