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 |  Nov 25 2010, 8:20 AM

With Nissan’s recent announcement of the Leaf EV’s official EPA fuel economy rating of 99-mpg average, the folks at Chevy were just receiving their EPA data for the Volt. Because of it’s unique drive system, the Volt’s numbers are far more complicated, however, and we’re probably just getting this release by Chevy now because it took so long to craft the press release. But allow us to explain:

As an EV and a Hybrid (yes, we know GM says it’s a full EV), the Volt gets two (or three) different numbers. The 37/96-mpg rating isn’t for city and highway, but rather for extended range and pure EV range. In other words, for the first 35 miles (or as long as the car operated on pure electricity) it is rated at 93-mpg. Once the battery is depleted and the gasoline engine kicks in, you’re looking at a 37-mpg range. Also included is a more realistic 60-mpg figure that’s described as a “composite” number. It’s the most important as it gives an idea as to what to expect if you drive the Volt daily and deplete the battery during your commute.

The Volt’s official total range is set at 379 miles, with 344 of those mile under extended range.