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Leaf vs Volt | War of the green cars | CAr news and reviews

Published: 13 August 2009

The Chevrolet Volt was gunning to be the ‘first mass-produced car with a triple-digit fuel economy,’ according to General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson. Earlier this week he announced the US’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would rate the new Chevy Volt as capable of 230mpg on the open road.

So what’s the problem?

The Nissan Leaf EV has picked a bone with the Volt. Yep – the two eco cars are slugging it out… on Twitter, of all places. Nissan reacted to Henderson’s announcement, claiming the new Leaf electric car would in fact manage 367mpg on the equivalent EPA ratings, a full 60% more efficient than the Volt!

The argument has raged on the Nissan Leaf’s official Twitter page, the battery car bragging it trumps the Volt by merit of having no exhaust pipe at all, using purely electric power, and a 100-mile range before needing a recharge (the Volt goes just 40 miles on electric power before the gasoline engine kicks in to charge up the battery).

‘Oh yeah, and it’ll be affordable too,’ crows the Nissan on Twitter. No, we’ve never heard a mere car talk so braggingly, either. But the Leaf is expected to cost between $25,000 and $33,000, compared to hefty $40,000 for the Volt.

Sounds like a little eco warfare brewing!

Oh, yes! The EPA has also waded into the cyber argument, saying it cannot in fact verify the Volt’s mpg figure as it hasn’t tested one yet (thanks to our friends on Autoblog for pointing this out). Mind you, the Leaf’s figure hasn’t been verified either – the value of 367 mpg was ‘estimated’ by Paul Weissler, who wrote a method for converting kilowatt-hours per 100 miles (the usual measure of mileage for electric cars) into the more conventional miles per gallon.

Wow. Will the Volt and Leaf head outside soon for a round of fisticuffs?

Daffodils at dawn, indeed. This argument’s still unravelling… watch this space!

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