GM's electric car 'can get 230 mpg'

General Motors (GM) has claimed that its new Chevrolet Volt electric car can achieve city fuel economy of 230 mpg to become the most efficient car in the US.

The Volt, which was introduced at the 2007 Detroit auto show, will be available on the market by the end of 2010 with a price tag of £24,165 ($40,000).

Its triple-digit fuel economy was said to be four times superior to the popular Toyota Prius hybrid. And GM is marketing the 230-mile figure after tests using draft guidelines from the US Environmental Protection Agency, who claims cars like the Volt will travel more on straight electricity in the city than on the highway.

The Volt has been powered by an electric motor and a 40-mile range battery pack, after which a small internal combustion engine kicks in to generate electricity for a total range of 300 miles.

With the launch of the latest electric car GM was expected to beat other auto makers, who were also working on similar plug-in designs, to emerge as the market leader in manufacturing the "next-generation" vehicles.

GM's chief executive Fritz Henderson said: "We are confident the highway (mileage) will be a triple-digit composite."

Copyright © Press Association 2009