It was hard not to be surprised by the recent Green Car Book ranking of the Chevrolet Volt, which placed it just 13th in a list of most environmentally friendly vehicles. The Volt, after all, has a 60-mpg combined EPA sticker rating.
The list, compiled by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a non-profit group funded by foundations, electric utilities and government agencies, “doesn’t add up,” according to GM spokesman Rob Peterson.
The Green Car Book ranked the Volt so poorly because of its 37-mpg average once the initial electric charge has been depleted. But within the 25 to 50 mile range that the charge allows, the Volt gets an EPA-estimated 93-mpg.
Peterson insists that the Green Car Book doesn’t take into account “how the car is actually used” noting that many owners will almost never run out of electric charge.
The Volt’s big rival, the Nissan Leaf, placed second in the Green Car Book‘s ranking. It gets an EPA-rated 99-mpg, but with a limited range of 73 miles. The winner? The natural gas-powered Honda Civic GX.