The Nissan Leaf is an all-electric car that in the US, offers a claimed 76 miles or 121 km of autonomy, whereas the range-extender Chevrolet Volt promises only 38 miles or 61 km before the petrol engine kicks in to recharge the batteries.
However, while looking at those figures alone would have you thinking that it would be the owners of the purely electric model covering most no-emissions miles, a recent study suggests the exact opposite.
The EV Project Vehicle Summary Report, issued by the US Department of Energy (DoE), collected data between the months of April and June this year and compiled them for some surprising results.
It revealed that in spite of having more battery on board to take them further, Nissan Leaf drivers actually covered fewer miles than Volt owners. They back this up with more numbers: 629 miles per month for the former, and 759 for the latter.
A number of factors could be affecting these readings, though, so they’re not necessarily accurate without question, yet they do offer an interesting suggestion that Bob Lutz may have actually had a point about the Chevy using the gasoline engine only when needed; if owners operate it properly (i.e. keep the battery charged at all times via socket and plug) the 1.4-liter petrol engine is rarely used.
In fact, it was found that the 759 aforementioned miles of range actually constituted around 75 percent of the total number of miles driven (1,012 of them on average, to be precise).
By Andrei NedeleaStory References: Greencareports