Washington Examiner: “Chevy Volt Doesn’t Make 2014 List of Fuel Economy Leaders” – Umm…Yes It Does – It’s #7 on the List

DEC 20 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 23

Yes...There's the Chevy Volt...It Definitely Makes the List - Perhaps the Folks at the Washington Examiner Can't See These Days

Yes…There’s the Chevy Volt…It Definitely Makes the List – Perhaps the Folks at the Washington Examiner Can’t See These Days

A few weeks ago, the Washington Examiner published an article titled “Chevy Volt Doesn’t Make 2014 List of Fuel Economy Leaders.”

Chevy Volt is #7 on the Top 10 List of Most Efficient Model Year 2014 Vehicles

Chevy Volt is #7 on the Top 10 List of Most Efficient Model Year 2014 Vehicles

In the opening lines, the article states:

“Another blow for the Chevy Volt.”

“The Department of Energy released its 2014 fuel economy guide, complete with a list of fuel economy leaders, and yet again, the Volt didn’t make the list.”

“In fact, the Volt — a compact car — doesn’t even perform as well by most metrics as some midsize plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, according to the guide.”

The guide that the Washington Examiner is referring to is the one we posted on in early December where the Chevy Spark EV topped the list (see image above).

That guide, officially called the 2014 Model Year Fuel Economy Guide, puts the Chevy Volt in the #7 spot overall on the top 10 list.

What is happening here is that the Washington Examiner is making it seem that because the Chevrolet Volt did not finish in the absolute pinnacle position in its class (Compact car), behind only the Ford Focus Electric, that the Volt is a failure.  By confusing the reader with the words “list” and “leader” in the same sentence, the article is not allowing anyone who reads it to truly understand the Chevy’s position in the market.

At no point in the article is it said that the Volt is actually the 2nd best car in its class, or 7th best overall.  Or that it is the most efficient extended range car on the market today.  We think if it did, the article would surely undermine the author’s position, and credibility.

After reading the article ourselves, we think the average reader not familiar with the plug-in Chevy would come away with a very misconstrued reality of what the Chevrolet Volt can do, and where it “ranks” in the eyes of the EPA as compared to other cars on the road…and we think that is mighty unfair.

*Notes: The 2014 Top 10 Most Efficient Vehicles are posted via the image at the top of this article.  Additionally, you can follow this link to check out the official Top 10 guide for yourself or this link for access to the Model Year 2014 guide in its entirety in PDF form.

Source of report: Washington Examiner  (updated – 12/20/2013 8:30p)

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23 Comments on "Washington Examiner: “Chevy Volt Doesn’t Make 2014 List of Fuel Economy Leaders” – Umm…Yes It Does – It’s #7 on the List"

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Perhaps they should examine things more closely.

…*crickets*

The article is about the 47 page 2014 Fuel Economy guide. The article is correct, the Volt did not make the list for MY14 Fuel Economy Leaders. This list is clearly shown on page 4. The Volt is not listed. The article also correctly states the Volt has worse MPGes and MPGs than bigger cars. Bigger mid size cars like the Accord and Fusion get better mileage than the Volt, plus they don’t require premium gas. “In fact, the Volt — a compact car — doesn’t even perform as well by most metrics as some midsize plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, according to the guide. The Compact Volt only gets 37 mpg burning premium fuel while bigger 5 seat mid-size cars like the Accord and Fusion get up to a combined 46 or 43 mpg and don’t require expensive premium gas. Furthermore, the guide referenced in the article goes on to demonstrate the smaller Volt gets worse MPGe than the bigger Accord and Fusion. The Accord get 115 MPGe while the Smaller Volt only gets 98 MPGe. In summary, the larger Accord and Fusion both get better MPGs and MPGes than the smaller Volt. It’s no wonder the Volt did not… Read more »

I’m sorry you don’t understand how plug-in cars work. Hopefully your kids can explain it to you someday.

I’d recommend you send your complaints to the EPA. It was the EPA who wrote the report and excluded the Volt from the “Model Year 2014 Fuel Economy Leaders”

The problem is that the Washington Examiner says the “…Volt didn’t make the list” leaving one with the impression there is a big long list of qualified applicants and the Volt doesn’t place.

When in actual fact, the 47 page PDF (which is the database for the EPA Top 10 list that Eric quotes the Volt is #7 for) only shows the VERY top performer for each automobile class – no “list”. There is no listing for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.

ie) only the Ford Focus Electric is “on the list”, as it has the highest MPGe in the compact class being fully electric

So because the Focus Electric is currently the 5th most efficient MY 2014 car, it finishes ahead of the Volt at #7. So if indeed there was “list” actually published on that PDF, the Volt would be 2nd. The article clearing as a destructive bias, and without a person doing a heck of a lot of homework, they will come away from that article with a very distorted reality and impression of the Volt, which we think is unfair.

I think it’s a semantic issue. The page 4 in the fuel economy guide shows a list of the most efficient vehicles by vehicle class, and the Volt didn’t make that list. If however, the EPA listed all vehicles by efficiency (ignoring vehicle class) then the Volt would have made that list (as shown above).

You are the one saying the opinions & misunderstandings of W.E. are “correct”. So to me, that means you are as clueless as the people at the W.E.

Page 33 of the Guide (not W.E.’s opinion piece, the actual Guide)
“PHEVs use less petroleum and cost less to fuel than
conventional hybrids”. Hmm wonder why we didn’t see that in W.E.’s article?

Page 5 of the report (not page 4 as you suggested): “Listed below are vehicles with the highest fuel economy in the most popular classes. For each vehicle class, we list the most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid or electric (EV) and the most fuel-efficient conventional vehicle”
So (pay attention here), you can see they listed the top electric and top gasser for each category. The Volt is a compact. The top electric for compacts was the Volt’s sibling, the Spark EV. The top gasser was the Ford Fiesta. If they had listed the top PHEV, of ANY class, it would have been the Volt.

EPA testing cycle is only 11 miles long.

That is how Accord PHEV and Prius PHEV managed to game the testing cycle with their ‘inflated” MPGe number.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

It should have said it didn’t make the number one spot for the compact list, a pure EV Ford Focus took that spot…

MrEnergyCzar

Premium fuel doesn’t mean higher mpg.

It is designed to have more power, not higher MPG.

Accord is only 115MPe for the first 11 miles, then 49MPG after that.

Volt is 98MPGe for the first 38 miles, then 37 MPG after that.

Depending on how you drive, Volt can be way ahead in terms of cost. I believe the 80-90 miles trip is where the switch over point is.

The purpose of the DOE is to disseminate information. Unfortunately though the information listed is accurate, there is yet another shortcoming in the math which helps explain why the seemingly more efficient and larger Honda Accord EV has only sold 558 compared to the ever popular Chevy Volt selling over 23,000 per year. The very simple fact is that the Accord’s electric range is only 11 miles. Still, there are some who only drive 11 miles but you can’t make up the savings unless you are driving closer to the national average of 12,750 miles per year. The Honda is a nice car. This simple fact however only makes it viable for a handful of people.

As to the comment above, it would be nice if comments were required to list their sponsor…..

You are mixing apples and oranges. Yes, the Volt ONLY gets 37 mpg on gas, but 99% of the time, I drive on electric, averaging 240 mpg. I drive about 1,000 miles per month and have used less than a tank of gas since September. There is no other hybrid that can compare, plug in or otherwise, and there is never any range anxiety.

Where is the Nissan Leaf? It isn’t anywhere in the 47 page guide. Nor is the Model S.

Tesla is on page 32 w/the other BEV’s. I dunno why they omitted the Leaf.

Prior to the latest software release where the Vampire Drain issue of the S was finally addressed (at least in moderate weather; cold weather is still undocumented, at least on these blogs), David Noland of Green Car Reports said he was getting 4800 mile loss / year. Since practical operation would have to include this, for low mileage drivers this was a huge expense…. Fortunately, the latest release has decreased this to an acceptable (to me) 1200 miles/year.

No Model Year 2014 LEAFs or Model S sedans are listed yet by the EPA so neither can make the list

Yupe, what Eric said. With the late rollout of the 2013 LEAF, Nissan had not issued out specs for the 2014s by the time of press.

Same for Tesla…although we know Tesla will be the same numbers, as they work a little different from other OEMs. Tesla looks at it as a car produced in 2014 is a MY 2014, a car prioduced in 2013 is a MY 2013…which we have to say is a little refreshing.

Coming up with MGPe was the EPA’s first problem. What nobody can, or wants, to come to terms with, becomes the fodder for others to distort. Consumers get confused and would have been better off with separate mpg, mpkwh and range figures. There’s no other way to figure it out, yet they wrote with an environmental mindset what people have been treating with an economic mindset, for years.

There’s not much point in picking the highest MPGe car, if it strands you.

They could have used $/mile. But then you still would have to break it down to different ranges. PHEV’s basically transform into a different car after their AER is gone.

Indeed. it becomes very difficult to calculate fuel economy on a PHEV without first setting some standard requirements like how many miles a person is going to drive.

From the original:
“The Volt has a range of 344 miles with premium gasoline. Compared to the Ford Fusion plug-in (602 miles with regular gasoline), the Accord plug-in (561 miles with regular gasoline) and the Prius (530 miles with regular gasoline), and the Volt falls further behind.

The smaller Volt also takes longer to charge at a standard 240-volt circuit. The Volt takes four hours to charge, compared to 2.5 hours for the Fusion plug-in, 1.5 hours for the Prius and less than one hour (0.67 hours) for the Accord plug-in.”

1. Volt maybe has a smaller gas tank?
2. Volt’s battery is maybe (a LOT) bigger?

Lol. This is the worst slice-n-dice I’ve seen in a while.

I don’t get your point….