(PhysOrg.com) -- The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) official mileage ratings of the Chevrolet Volt have been released and show the car will be capable of 93 "miles per gallon equivalent" when running on electric for combined city/highway driving, and will have a range of 35 miles on the battery. Its total range is 379 miles. When running on gasoline, the car will achieve 37 miles per gallon (mpg), giving a total combined estimate of 60 mpg over the long term, which is 10 mpg better than Toyota's Prius and puts the Volt at the top of the compact car category in fuel economy.
The Chevrolet Volt, manufactured by General Motors, is a plug-in hybrid that can run on electric, gasoline, or a combination of the two. The 16-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery will operate the car for an estimated range of 35 miles, after which the car will switch to gasoline mode. The battery re-charge time is around four hours on 240 V.
A gallon equivalent is the amount of electrical energy equivalent to the energy contained in one gallon of gasoline. The Nissan Leaf, which does not run on gasoline at all, is rated at 99 miles per gallon equivalent. In electric-only mode the Volt requires 36 kilowatt hours per 100 miles, while for the Nissan Leaf the equivalent figure is 34 kilowatt hours per 100 miles.
The combined estimate of 60 mpg makes assumptions on the frequency of recharging and on how much of the time a typical driver will be running the car on electricity and how much on gasoline. In practice a driver who plugs in the car every night to recharge the battery and who usually travels on short trips may get much better mileage, and may use gasoline only occasionally. A driver who tends to drive longer distances or charges the battery only infrequently will use more gasoline and may get less than 60 mpg on average.
General Motors expects to start selling the Chevy Volt next month. The four-seat sedan will cost around $41,000.
Explore further: Ambitious EU targets for renewable energies make economic sense