Yesterday, General Motors claimed that the much-anticipated Chevy Volt would get a whopping 230 miles per gallon. As some critics have pointed out, the calculation is a bit misleading -- for one, the Volt's gas engine only kicks in after 40 miles of battery driving. But GM is certainly counting on the Volt to serve as evidence that it has reconnected with consumer tastes, and the vehicle is believed to be a direct attack against the popular Toyota Prius.
As the Christian Science Monitor points out, Nissan is laughing at GM's entry into the space. Using the same formula as GM, Nissan claims 367 miles per gallon for its all-electric Leaf. In fact, yesterday Nissan took at shot at the Volt on its Twitter feed:
"Nissan Leaf = 367 mpg, no tailpipe, and no gas required. Oh yeah, and it'll be affordable too"
Like the Chevy Volt, the Leaf isn't due to hit the market until 2011 . Wired suggests that the Leaf will cost about $25,000, compared to the Volt's estimated $40,000 sticker price. Nissan also claims the Leaf will get 100 miles per battery charge, while the Volt gets just 40.
Despite Nissan's claims, the Chevy Volt offers a serious, if hard to calculate, savings over old-fashioned driving costs. Here's U.S. News & World Report's Rick Newman:
"GM says a 40-mile charge will cost about 40 cents at current electricity rates, which means you'd spend $1.20 to drive 100 miles. In a gas-powered car averaging a healthy 30 MPG, by comparison, you'd spend $10 in gas to go 100 miles, if gas cost $3 per gallon. That's 8 times more costly than driving on the Volt's battery power alone, but the real cost to drivers will depend on how much driving is powered by each type of fuel."
WATCH this review of Nissan's Leaf from IDG:
What do you think? Which car is better positioned to dominate the future of the automobile industry? Which would you buy?