Electric Cars’ MPG Conundrum

General Motors made a lot of noise Aug. 11 with the announcement of a 230-mile-per-gallon city fuel-economy rating for its Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric car. Not to be outdone, Nissan (NSANY) said its Leaf electric car gets an equivalent of 367 MPG.

This one-upsmanship by the two automakers probably just confused any would-be buyers of these cars, which will both hit the market later next year. It also raises serious questions for the government and car companies: How will federal regulators rate the efficiency of the newest-tech cars, and how will the automakers use that data to market
them? Neither number is likely to match up the real fuel-economy performance for either car, since Volt buyers will all drive it differently and Leaf drivers won’t even use gasoline.

To see how unhinged MPG becomes as electricity takes a bigger role under the hood, look at the Chevy Volt. The Volt will always drive using [...]

The concept RCZ Hybrid4 has 147 kW yet delivers 70 mpg.

These are the first images of Peugeot’s RCZ sports car due to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in mid-September. First unveiled as a concept two years ago, the production model’s unique shape houses some remarkable technology. F’rinstance, an active rear spoiler, a Twin-Scroll turbocharger, direct petrol injection, variable valve lift and variable valve timing, Hill Assist to facilitate maneuvers on steep gradients, an intelligent traction control system (ASR), electronic brake force distribution (EBFD) and emergency brake assist (EBA). There’s also a concept RCZ Hybrid4 which uses a 120 kW 2.0-liter HDi FAP diesel engine at the front and a 27 kW electric motor at the rear to deliver 70 mpg.

Three engines will initially find a place under the aluminum bonnet of the RCZ – all complying with the Euro 5
emissions standard.

A new 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol engine has been developed [...]

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