The US EPA says it has not driven the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and therefore has no fuel consumption figures to release. Until the organisation actually tests it, claims of 230mpg will not be independently verified.

General Motors' claim that the upcoming Chevrolet Volt would achieve a city fuel average of 230mpg has been challenged by the learned guys at Green Car Advisor. Having understood from GM that the Volt would break fuel consumption records thanks to its drivetrain, GCA went and asked the EPA for clarification, seeing that its methods were used to return that figure.

The EPA then issued a statement that goes: "EPA has not tested a Chevy Volt and therefore cannot confirm the fuel economy values claimed by GM. EPA does applaud GM's commitment to designing and building the car of the future - an American-made car that will save families money, significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create good-paying American jobs. We're proud to see American companies and American workers leading the world in the clean energy innovations that will shape the 21st century economy."

Quite a patriotic statement no doubt but nothing concrete on the Volt's claims. Some WCF staffers had initially expressed some reservations about the claims which we expressed by saying "Real-life fuel-economy tests by motoring publications seldom match what the automakers claim because of varying load factors, weather conditions, factors like air conditioning etc."

Nevertheless GM has major confidence in its ground-breaking future product. Independent tests conducted by organisations like the EPA and on the Euro cycle should settle the question.