Chevrolet Volt tops Sierra Club ranking of plug-in hybrids

Chevrolet Volt
The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid ranks high on the Sierra Club’s list, with a range of 380 miles at an annual fuel cost of $950.
(Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty Images)

Chevrolet’s Volt topped the Sierra Club’s list of plug-in hybrids in the environmental organization’s annual Electric Vehicle Guide.

At a price falling mid-range in the list of six EVs reviewed, the Volt takes drivers 38 electric-only miles before its gasoline engine kicks in. That results in a miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) of 98 on the Environmental Protection Agency’s scale.

In total, Volt owners get a range of 380 miles at an annual fuel cost of $950. (The estimate uses average $0.12 per kilowatt-hour and $3.61 for regular gas – quite a bit lower than the typical cost of gasoline in California.)

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The Volt earned a rating of 4 out of 5 green leaves on the guide’s ranking system, which compared each model’s environmental impact (or lack thereof) to that of an all-electric car.

Ford’s C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi, $30,389 and $35,744, respectively, after federal tax credits, came in just behind the Volt, with 3.5 leaves. The Fords had nearly identical stats, both capable of 21 electric-only miles and 100 EPA mpge, for a total range of 620 miles.

Next up, the Honda Accord Plug-in tied with the Fisker Karma and Toyota Prius Plug-in at 3 leaves. Honda trumps the others in EPA mpge and total mile range for both electric and gas – 115 mpge and 570 miles.

The Accord edged out the Prius in electric-only range, with 13 miles versus 11 for the Prius. The Sierra Club lauded the 33 miles of electric range from the Fisker Karma, the $100,000 car from the California company now steaming toward bankruptcy. (The company’s woes could make Fiskers much cheaper on the used market.)


The Sierra Club’s guide also details government incentives available in your area for hybrid and electric cars.

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Twitter: @c_s_green