GM CEO Fritz Henderson was all smiles when he announced the Chevy Volt's 230 mpg city rating yesterday. But the Internet digested the news in its own way, and there was some understandable confusion and criticism of the very big, very bold claim. The EPA was the most official source to put a damper on GM's numbers, but that was mostly a way to say that it's too early to tell. GM representatives were very clear to us that they don't see the 230 number as unrealistic or setting Volt fans up for disappointment when the agency finally gets to test actual vehicles sometime next year. Others were less diplomatic.

Our friend Darryl Siry was quick to call the 230 number "unrealistic," adding that "the problem is that anytime you try to get to "miles per gallon" using vehicles that don't necessary use "gallons" you end up in a very strange debate with very strange outcomes." Indeed. Siry made sure to say that it's the EPA method (still in development, and one we don't know much about yet) and not only GM that is to blame here. GM has looked at what the EPA will use to determine the mpg ratings of plug-in hybrids and says that it'll result in 230 mpg. How could they not hype that up?

Over on What is 230?, someone who claims to be a "GM employee who works directly with people who work on the Volt" wrote in to say that the number is a "mis-leading gimmick of a marketing tactic." So, that's not good for GM. Treehugger also suggested we find some grains of salt.

In the least surprising response, Bob Lutz has nothing but good stuff to say about the 230 campaign and the rating. He says the hype was made "For one simple reason: We're proud of it." Is it just me, or are the stakes getting awfully high around here?

[Source: Darryl Siry, What is 230?]