By on June 17, 2012

The Chevrolet Volt should eclipse its 2011 sales total by the end of June, and is apparently on pace to sell 20,000 units this year. It’s also outselling a major Chevrolet nameplate.

Wired magazine is reporting that based on sales data via GM (which is apparently based on “deliveries”, though Automotive News and other sources show identical numbers) the Volt is outselling the Corvette. 7,057 Volts have been sold versus 5,547 Vettes.

It’s hardly fair to compare the two cars. They are wildly different, and the C6 Corvette, as great as it is, is now old news, and the C7 is just around the corner. The more interesting story here is whether the Volt can finally gain some traction in the marketplace and keep up the current pace.

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74 Comments on “Chevrolet Volt On Pace For 20,000 Units In 2012...”


  • avatar
    gslippy

    Count me as stunned if they actually sell 20k (or close to that); I may eat a little crow. But it’s still a big difference from the original predictions of 60k, then 45k. But I’m still impressed, I must admit.

    Although I am tiring of the Corvette sales comparisons, they may prove that people don’t buy the Volt to save money on gas, but for other reasons instead (early adopters, enviro-snobs, bailout-flag-waivers, etc.).

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Or, “early adopters, environmentally conscious, pro American industry, etc”…you can polarize it any way you like. Still, no matter how you spin it, the economics are pretty sketchy…

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        It’s worth noting that GM loses money on every Volt sale, in spite of the government subsidy. No, they won’t make it up with volume.

        And yes, those other descriptors apply as well. I didn’t mean to paint a negative picture of Volt buyers. It’s just that a case cannot be made for the Volt in terms of economic value, so it must have other attractions that induce a sale.

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      In the pre-shale oil, pre-Anglian University scandal days, it looked like a pretty safe bet that America would be facing $5-$6 a gallon fuel prices by now.
      If you think Europeans, Brazilians and Canadians like Sonics, Fits and Yaris’, think again.
      The world changes at $5 a gallon.

      The Volt was a gamble. GM knew it. Anyone with half a brain knew it. I’d wager it was a decade before Toyota started seeing returns on the Prius project – even AFTER the Japanese government threw billions into the kitty.

  • avatar

    I’m glad they are selling, but, I can’t understand why anyone would want one.

    Just to plug a car into a wall?

    Completely senseless to me when you could take that same money and buy a far more sensible 2013 Malibu.

    • 0 avatar
      Toucan

      Because for some handling the non-renewable natural resources efficiently carries the same value as a bit larger driver’s seat or a bit more overhang or one more gadget for the others.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        also, operating on electrons is about a third as expensive as on gasoline

      • 0 avatar

        Electricity in America is produced by the burning of fossil fuels in most cases and in only a few – nuclear or hydroelectric.

        Add that to the laws of thermodynamics which dictate transmission of electricity will suffer loss of energy as heat and your “efficient” and “environmentally friendly” argument goes RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        bigtruckseriesreview, that theory has already been disproved. A full cradle-to-grave energy & pollution analysis has been done and in nearly every part of the country, an EV will outperform nearly every ICE in terms of environment. (The results were even published on this site.)

    • 0 avatar
      car_guy2010

      And why would anyone want to buy a big, gas-guzzling truck when they could buy a sensible 2013 Chevrolet Volt?

      Just playing with your words there.

      Some people value fun and the ability to do burnouts/mudding and others value thrift and reducing their carbon footprints.

      And you know what?

      In America, we have the FREEDOM to buy the vehicles that suit our values, suit our needs, etc.

      So enjoy whatever it is that you drive and I will enjoy what I drive.

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      Different viewpoints? I feel the same way about the Corvette. Totally useless car, but I usually pause when I see one.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      How much electricity is generated with fossil fuels from OPEC tyrants? I would bet a statistically-insignificant supply.

      How many WV coal miners or workers at Hoover Dam were 9/11 hijackers?

      BTW, I had a Malibu loaner while my Volt was getting its assorted upgrades and tire rotation. It’s a reasonably nice car, but it’s no comparison to the Volt as far as performance and comfort go.

  • avatar
    harshciygar

    GE is buying a fleet of Volts, and the average new vehicle transaction price is right around the price of a Volt after the tax credit. For those that can afford a $30,000+ new car, the Volt has a lot of recommend it if you can get over the politics.

    The original, inflated numbers so often quoted was Akerson saying he WANTED to build 60,000 Volts in 2012…not that GM would. If you account for the already sold-out Ampera in Europe, GM may end up building 30,000 or so Volt/Ampera vehicles in 2012. That’s a very respectable number, though I agree with Derek, the Corvette comparison isn’t exactly fair…the Volt has a much wider appeal than the Corvette these days.

    Nissan Leaf sales on the other hand seem to have fallen off of a cliff. Perhaps GM was right about range anxiety??

    A lot of people will have to eat crow, because the Volt is a good vehicle, and I think a lot of people are looking past the politics and seeing that. Jay Leno went over 11,000 miles on like half a tank of gas. Sure, that electricity wasn’t free…but it was a lot cheaper than gasoline in SoCal.

    • 0 avatar
      tparkit

      “…if you can get over the politics.”

      This car is a rolling political agenda. That sales might be bumping up during an election year is exactly what I would expect.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Ya……..that’s why Lutz was told to start building it in 2007. Have you even watched Revenge of the Electric Car?

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        i’d expect the opposite. In such a contentious election year, why would anyone with any sense wish to drive a Volt, and so blatantly advertise that they’re an Obama acolyte?

        Wait… “sense” and “Volt” should never be in the same sentence. I retract the comment.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        GM started working on the Volt during the Bush administration.

        Although GM won’t admit it, it should be pretty obvious that it was GM’s attempt to compete with the Prius once the Prius proved that there was a market for such things. (GM began to work on it after annual Prius sales broke 100,000 units in the US market — this decision by GM doesn’t exactly look like a coincidence.) Toyota had already announced that it was working on a plug-in Prius, and GM wanted in.

        I can appreciate that facts are boring to a lot of people around here, but still, it would be nice if some of you would try to use them on occasion.

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        Obama is the one who hitched himself very publicly to the Volt, not Dubya. Hence this is rightfully known as “his” car, and his folly, alone.

        My point was that if I drove a Volt, it would be hard to ignore the feeling I was driving around in a very visible target.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Obama is the one who hitched himself very publicly to the Volt, not Dubya”

        Assuming that there was still going to be a GM, the Volt would have existed, with or without Obama. Some of you folks seem to think that the Volt was created out of the thin air following the 2008 elections, and that’s just factually incorrect.

        “My point was that if I drove a Volt, it would be hard to ignore the feeling I was driving around in a very visible target.”

        Judging from your handle, you have a bit of an unhealthy Volt fetish. That you would also exhibit signs of paranoia is not particularly surprising.

      • 0 avatar
        Volts On Fire

        You may not drive a Volt, pch101, but you certainly have the sanctimonious attitude that I’d expect from someone who owned one. It’s every bit as laughably misplaced here, too.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Some people confuse facts with sanctimony, I guess.

        Again, as your handle and comments reflect, you have a very odd and obsessive fixation with the Volt. I’m personally not that impressed by it on a number of levels, but it doesn’t traumatize me, either.

      • 0 avatar
        car_guy2010

        Always great to see an anti-Volt troll stinking up the place.

        I’m not the biggest fan of GM but I would buy a Volt just to stick it to the naysayers.

        It has nothing to do with Obama and everything to do with competing with the Prius.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        “Obama is the one who hitched himself very publicly to the Volt, not Dubya. Hence this is rightfully known as “his” car, and his folly, alone.”

        Why should anything Obama does reflect on the Volt?

        Further, Obama didn’t hitch himself to this car; he enjoyed a photo-op with it and he has cited it as an example of what can be done in electrifying transport. He’d like to see more EVs, based on the not-so-crazy notion that one should have some diversity in one’s energy sources and uses.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        That handle says it all.

        The no. of Volts that have been on fire are like what – three?

        One having caught fire while sitting on some lot months after it was in an accident and the other cases still being investiated as to result the Volt was actually at fault.

        There have been more Ferrari 458 Italias that have caught on fire than Volts.

        Heck, there have been way more Fords that have caught fire due to improperly placed gas tanks and other gas tank defects (from the Pinto to the F150 to Crown Vic/Panther-based models).

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        The number of Volts that have caught fire in consumer use is actually precisely ZERO!

      • 0 avatar
        carbiz

        “My point was that if I drove a Volt, it would be hard to ignore the feeling I was driving around in a very visible target.”
        Really? That’s how I would feel if I drove a Kia or Hyundai: Ì don`t give a sh$t about my neighbor`s job, or the future of North America.
        There are plenty of reasons to buy a Volt if one is in the market for a new vehicle. Chief amongst them would be peace of mind, knowing that if that nutjob in Iran sets Israel aflame, I`d probably be the only person able to get to work within the week.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTheDriver

        I think anyone who manages to attach their politics to a car is, well, pretty much an idiot. Unless maybe you’re talking about a Trabant.

  • avatar
    pecos bill

    I have to think that the majority of the sales are to fleets and government agencies, not to individual consumers.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @pecos bill- Maybe you “have to think” that because of your preconceptions, but it is not the case.

      Most Volts are being purchased by individual consumers. It is a great car. Drive one. Most Americans can save substantially compared to any other car available, perhaps other than Leaf, with its city-car only range.

      @lilpoindexter- Any vehicle certified to LEV standards is allowed solo use of the car pool lane. Since Volt is intended and used by most owners as a ZEV(Zero Emission Vehicle) GM did not think it wise to spend the money to design and certify it to LEV standards in range extending mode. California, as typical, disregarded the ZEV capability and screwed GM out of access to the car pool lane.

      The new Volt is certified to LEV standards even in range extending mode.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        California didn’t screw GM out of anything. GM didn’t bother to build the car to the necessary spec. That’s GM’s responsibility.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Carpool lane were not intended for hybrids or EVs anyways. Reducing traffic congestion is hardly accomplished by solo drivers with special stickers.

        Volt buyers have high income and already own two other cars, on the average. Volts aren’t exactly family haulers or for folks that care to share a ride with 1-3 co-workers.

        GM should’ve combined their two flagship loss-leaders into one. The Corvolt. Then they’d have something that made sense and otherwise, worth spending lots of expendable income on. A flagship based on a common Cruze, not so much.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Carpool lane were not intended for hybrids or EVs anyways”

        Actually, they are. The Clean Air Act encourages HOV lane construction for emissions reductions, not just for congestion.

      • 0 avatar
        Truckducken

        Hang on, PCH. Wouldn’t emissions be reduced more effectively by keeping the Volts and Prii in the crowded lanes, and putting the F-150′s and Escalades in the HOV lane? Just sayin’…economic distortion at work.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “Wouldn’t emissions be reduced more effectively by keeping the Volts and Prii in the crowded lanes, and putting the F-150′s and Escalades in the HOV lane?”

        The short answer is no. It would be better to get you out of your truck and into something with less impact. (Admittedly, Priusducken as a handle would have less cachet value, but sometimes you have to take a bullet for the cause.)

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        I should have written PZEV, not LEV.

        Most Volt operation is ZEV and the average user emits less from a Volt than any hybrid. GM got screwed when California did not recognize this technical reality and give Volt the HOV approval despite it being cleaner than vehicles given the approval.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        If you really care about the enviornment, then get off your high horse and get on your iron horse. I clear 50mpg easily on my bike and that’s my big 650 thumper. My old EX250 would do much better and was perfectly happy to cruise on the interstate. If you are rolling by yourself and are on anything with more than 2 wheels then you could be doing more. Hell a hybrid bike would be something to get excited over.

        Having said all that, I generally only take the bike when the truck is broke which works out to be fairly often unfortunately. But if folks really cared…

      • 0 avatar
        carbiz

        High occupancy lanes are strictly a political animal. They exist for lazy governments to get out of having to expand highways. They cater to the vocal tree-hugger crowd, while saving the government a ton of money.
        All of Ontario`s new freeway expansions (what few that there are) contain one of these stupid lanes. When it comes time to refurbish an overcrowded section of highway, instead of adding the needed 2 or 3 lanes, they generally add one of these ridiculous lanes and then pat themselves on the back.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      So lets solve the debates, certainly one of our TTAC overlords can find out how many are fleet and how many are non-fleet.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        GM occasionally answers the fleet question on their sales & production conference calls. Through November of last year, they were 10% fleet. They did go to about 35% fleet for one month, December. Fleet sales, IIRC, fell off again in January.

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    GM got on their knees for the California Air Resouces Board and got solo car pool access for this POS…so now former prii owners are buying them to get solo access to the car pool lane.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      And if CARB said that next year they’re only granting solo car pool access to purple cherry-picker trucks, the same people would cause a national shortage of hydraulic basket cranes.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Oh I get it. So it was OK for Toyota to lobby for solo HOV lane access a decade ago and win favor with California to drive mind share and market share of their new hybrid technology, but it’s not OK for GM to do the same with their range extender plug-in.

      Got it.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        GM did plenty of lobbying. You’ll notice the Federal per-KWH tax credit tops out at exactly the same size as the Volt’s battery? The Michigan delegation led the charge. If more electrification = good, then why does the Leaf get the same credit as the Volt? Wouldn’t a higher ceiling on the credit encourage completely different large-capacity schemes and potentially reward companies for making a 300-mile vehicle?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The Prius plug-in also qualifies for the carpool stickers. And unlike the white ZEV stickers, which are available in unlimited quantities, these green-colored stickers are available in only limited quantities (40,000 total) and expire in 2015.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Seems to me that the Toyota Prius Plug In is the vehicle to have in this class. I guess some people dislike Japanese cars so much that they are willing to buy anything with a GM or Ford badge on it.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Prius plug-in is being outsold handily by the Volt. It doesn’t have enough range and fully equipped costs as much.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Or rather, some people like the looks of the Volt better and the fact that it drives more like a “regular” car.

      People shouldn’t expect the Volt to sell like the Prius – well the current gen Prius anyway.

      Remember, the 1st gen Prius didn’t sell all at well and it only once took off when Toyota was able to cut the price with the 2nd gen model (considering how Honda is losing $$ on Japanese made-vehicles, I wonder how much Toyota is making on Prius sales).

      Once GM gets the economies of scale down and cut production costs with the 2nd gen Volt (and the Cadillac and Opel versions), sales of the Volt should rise as the price comes down.

      GM should really work on a CUV version of the Volt; it would be a big seller business fleets not only in the US, but Europe as well.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Why shouldn’t we expect it to sell well? It gets a minimum of $7500 in support. Nothing else gets or got that. Prius sales took off when the sweetener was just a $2500 or so tax deduction (which is only worth taxrate * $2500 – about $700, depending).

        Further, GM has the advantage of being able to study history. When the Prius and Insight came out, there was nothing at all available for comparison. GM could study the launches and sales of those cars and avoid making similar or worse mistakes. They didn’t. They let Lutz dictate the car out of his own imagination and delivered something that wouldn’t sell at all without the support it gets.

        There’s also little reason to think that economies of scale are going to make much difference here. The Volt is, basically, a car with a battery. Battery prices may change but vehicle assembly is pretty well understood (or so we would hope) and we’re not going to see much change in price there. GM has already announced 2013 pricing will be the same as 2012 pricing.

        GM is at the mercy of whoever’s building batteries, as is every other would-be EV manufacturer.

        Toyota looked at battery costs and came to the remarkable conclusion that you could not build an EV with 40 miles of range unless it was outrageously priced… so they didn’t. If a 40-mile battery was some reasonable cost, the Prius PHV would have 40 miles of range.

        When battery prices fall to some reasonable cost, Toyota will be able to capitalize on this to the same extent that GM can. GM isn’t getting any strategic advantage from this.

        GM did work on a CUV version of this… and killed it with Saturn. That vehicle wasn’t inexpensive or workable, either, and getting 40 miles of range out of a CUV that will end up weighing 4800lbs is going to use a lot more battery (and therefore unit cost) to get there than a compact car.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        No one is saying that we shouldn’t expect the Volt to sell well, but it takes time for costs to come down.

        In its 1st year of sale in the US, the Prius sold a whopping 5,600 units.

        Sales then went to 15,600, 20,100 and 24,600 in its 2nd, 3rd and 4th years – not exactly a big seller.

        Sales of the Prius finally hit some volume (54k) with the 2G Prius and hit its high point in 2007 (sales of the Prius still haven’t recovered to its 2007 sales high).

        As for battery costs – Toyota has the same issues (batteries are getting more efficient and cheaper) but they have managed to cut the costs of building their hybrid system so that the hybrid “premium” is a lot less than it used to be – and that comes with economies of scale as well as cutting production costs through improved production processes.

        Let’s wait and see how GM does with the 2G Volt before we come to any rash conclusions.

        People were saying the exact same thing about the Prius (that it would never sell, etc.) in the 1st few years it was sold in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        GM freely admits that Volt leapfrogs Prius. Toyota is playing catchup and current sales numbers show they are failing.

        I have to agree with PCH101. Most commenters seem quite ignorant of the timeframe for new vehicle development, not to speak of the work involved. Volt was conceived before most of us had ever heard of Barack Obama.

        Volt performs much better than Prius Plug-in- faster to 60 by nearly 2 seconds! Prius falls flat on a head to head competitive comparison and sales will continue to languish.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “GM freely admits that Volt leapfrogs Prius. Toyota is playing catchup”

        Volt leapfrogs Toyota? Not really. Actually GM is far behind. As we’ve seen, PHEVs are going to be low volume niche vehicles. The most economical way of producing a low volume model like a PHEV is to engineer it to be simply a power-train option on a higher volume model. Obviously, dedicated platforms aren’t going to cut it in terms of production costs. Ideally build it on the same line as the other models and stuff in the PHEV drive-train without skipping a beat.

        Ford and Toyota appear to be closer to this ideal. Ford has two production model based PHEVs with EV range somewhat close to the Volts. Toyota is making progress on batteries that may put their EV range well beyond the Volt. They did it the right way. Do the difficult engineering to adapt a production model, then increase EV range as new battery tech becomes available.

        In other words, what I’m trying to say is that other than battery tech and costs, the major engineering challenge in the PHEV segment is to lower costs by fitting the PHEV tech into existing models. In this area, I think Ford and Toyota are obviously well ahead of GM.

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      “I guess some people dislike Japanese cars so much that they are willing to buy anything with a GM or Ford badge on it”

      While some unable to think for themselves are willing to buy anything with a Honda or Toyota badge on it. Nothing against Honda or Toyota but everything they make is not gold.

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      That`s hilarious. If you feel comfortable with shipping 90% of the money you spend on your next vehicle purchase to Japan or Korea, along with the patents, value-added jobs and intellectual property, knock yourself out.
      Why don`t you try buying an American made TV. Oops, you can`t. You can`t even buy one built by an American company that is made somewhere else. (The IPad might qualify, but I`m sure you`ll be able to buy a Chinese knock off soon enough.)

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      Have you driven either?

      I would bet a pint of Guinness that Volt has superior driving dynamics and returns lower costs per mile for a ~40mi commute, though to be fair I haven’t driven the PiP.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    They’ll make 20K only because in California you can get both $9K (maybe more) in cash PLUS unrestricted access to HOV lanes.

    The HOV access is priceless; there are few other ways in this world to buy time.

    The real mystery is why GM wasn’t selling HOV-qualified cars sooner. It’s not like the requirements were a mystery. And apparently the upgrade was just a secondary air injection pump.

    Prius PHV sales managed to hit 1600 in a single month, too. Given that it is the low-cost entry point for HOV access, this is not surprising.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “The real mystery is why GM wasn’t selling HOV-qualified cars sooner. It’s not like the requirements were a mystery.”

      The CARB AT PZEV (HOV sticker) program didn’t start until January 1, 2012. The Volt was launched before the stickers were available.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        I believe the requirements were known before GM’s Summer 2011 shutdown.

        And why are Volts in short supply in California when we’re rather over-supplied here?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “I believe the requirements were known before GM’s Summer 2011 shutdown.”

        The requirements were known.

        But the requirements were irrelevant until this year because (a) the green HOV stickers didn’t exist until this year and (b) the only other car eligible for the green stickers is the plug-in Prius, which wasn’t launched until this year.

        GM didn’t lose much of anything by waiting. The EAT PZEV stickers benefit only GM and Toyota, and the 2011 sales wouldn’t have been eligible, no matter what.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    It is also outselling the Prius Plug-in by a significant margin. On other news, Leaf sales have completely collapsed.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “Prius plug-in is being outsold handily by the Volt. It doesn’t have enough range and fully equipped costs as much.”

    And even with a fully charged battery needs it’s ICE to run if you try to accelerate at more than a snails pace.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Only the EV-purists care how often the engine runs. And some of thenm will probably find it a challenge to prevent the engine running. For the $aving$ involved, they might find added incentive to do so.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        …And some of thenm will probably find it a challenge to prevent the engine running…

        We have lots of them in Seattle, they think they own the left lane.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Lots of passionate and knowledgeable people on here. Doesn’t the Volt cost 35K after the rebates? I know it may vary state by state. I think the hyper milers are dimwits; especially when their slow acceleration gets them out of synch with stoplight.
    How well do hybrids accelerate? A real world concern when merging. For long trips I expect the gasoline engine will kick in. My trip bi-annual trip from VA to IN will be on I-64 except for the last 60 miles or so. Can I do this on one or two tanks of gas?
    I’m an average gomer and cheap too! The idea of buying gas every other month for the daily driver appeals to me. The Prius V is looking awful good to me. Is this what the marketing folks call “Conquest” sales?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      If we look at before rebate figures:

      Tesla Model S Signature Performance: $105,000 ($7.5K rebate)
      Tesla Model S Base: $57,400 ($7.5K rebate – not available until 2013)
      Prius Plug-In V: $39,525 ($2.5K rebate)
      Ford Focus Electric: $39,200 ($7.5K rebate)
      Chevy Volt: $39,145 ($7.5K rebate)
      Honda Fit EV: $38,000 (estimated, sold as lease only, $7.5K rebate)
      Nissan Leaf SL: $37,250 ($7.5K rebate)
      Nissan Leaf SV: $35,200 ($7.5K rebate)
      Prius Plug-In Base: $32,000 ($2.5K rebate)

      So what have we learned?

      The cheapest EV or range extended electric you can buy is the Nissan Leaf SV after government rebate.

      The Chevy Volt is not overpriced – competitively priced within its class.

      All above is “base” price without federal or state rebates and without destination charges.

      Toyota’s strategy is interesting bracketing the top and bottom of the mainstream vehicles in pricing. The “base” version is pretty darn base and the V comes with almost everything but automatic butt wipers.

  • avatar
    alluster

    Highly unlikely GM will hit 20,000 sales for the year unless Ampera sales are included too. Gas prices have started to fall and the Prius plugin must be stealing some sales, not to mention the upcoming Fit and Focus EVs. Sales should nevertheless more than double from last year which hopefully motivate GM to keep working on the battery range plus bring the overall costs down. As long as their NA market remains profitable GM should continue selling the Volt despite it not making a profit. Toyota didn’t make any money on the Prius nor do they now. Remember, the break-even point for Toyota is around 85 yen to the dollar for exports out of Japan.

    There would be more people with disposable income willing to buy a $40K car once the economy recovers to 2005 levels. Gas prices are also going to be much higher if the economy is doing great.

    Love it or hate it, the Volt is the most technologically advanced car now made. Plug-ins are the next step after hybrids to a pure EV future, whose time hasn’t arrived yet(until they can reach 300 mile range and fully charge within an hour). There is only a finite amount of oil and the costs of procuring the remaining oil is only going to get harder and more expensive. The amount of new oil replenished everyday is probably a million times less than what we take out.

    The Leaf OTH has fallen off a cliff. Has gone from easily outselling the Volt to less than 1/3rd the sales.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Funny how all the people who took great glee in comparing Leaf and Volt sales have fallen conspicuously silent.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I hope that GM sells a lot of Volts. Maybe they’ll be profitable enough to buy back their stock from the Treasury, at a profit to the US taxpayers. An unlikely event, to be sure.

      But I can tell you this, I haven’t seen even one Volt since I arrived in Hawaii for our vaca, and we’ve been a lot of places in our rent-a-Wrangler. You would think that Hawaii would be a prime candidate for Hybrid EVs. The cost of gas here is still well over $4/gal for all grades.

      • 0 avatar
        carbiz

        Hawaii? Where can you actually drive? And unless they`ve built a nuclear power plant, or run off geo-thermal, electricity comes from virtually the same source as gasoline.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        Hawaii has notoriously expensive electricity because it is generated by the most expensive fuel: oil. So, either way, you’re screwed. Hawaii is a place where you should simply enjoy the perfect environment, which works very well without adding much energy. It seems to me that the best car for Hawaii would be the Prius — not an EV or a PHEV.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        You can drive a lot of places on any of the islands in Hawaii. It’s really nice. The better places to drive through are off the beaten path and for that it is best to use a 4X4, like a Jeep Wrangler we rent whenever we’re here.

        Yesterday we drove from the beach all the way up into the mountains on unpaved trails and saw just a few ranchers and farmers out working. Burned almost 12 gallons of gas – cost nearly $60 to fill up the Wrangler’s gas tank when we got back to the pavilion.

        Bruce, you’re right about high utility prices. We usually rent an estate or pavilion for a couple of months so that all members of my wife’s extended family will have a place to stay.

        The electric bill (just the electric bill) for our 45-day Christmas stay on Maui was $1585. Not cheap but not too bad considering there were anywhere from 12 – 18 people staying there on and off during those 45 days.

        Good thing my wife’s dad pays for it all. The only thing we have to worry about is finding a way to get there and how to get back home again.

        Today we’re taking a Hovercraft ferry ride to another one of the islands and taking the Wrangler with us.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Ford is planning to count their Focus EV sales in the dozens by the month, not the hundreds of thousands. So sayeth Ford.

      At $37K plus out of the gate, the Fit EV is DOA.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    In November, or more precisely in January, we will be getting rid of Obama, but not the Volt. We just can’t afford him anymore.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    The problem is not that this car is bad. All indications are that it’s pretty good. The problem is that GM built this thing up so big that people expected a revelotuionary product. What they got was a Prius with a large battery that plugs into the wall. Not a bad concept in itself, but not worthy of the hype either. They should have just brought it out and sold it on its merits. As it was, people were already polarized on the Volt long before it launched. The bailout backlash was just another nail in the coffin.

    I hope they stay the course though. History shows that GM gets off the wall concepts like the Volt right after a few years. History also shows that after they make it right they kill it.

    I’d drive one though if it were priced more inline with what you get. As it is, I may be the perfect case for a Leaf. I am a Soldier who lives on post so Electricity is included in my rent and my comute is very short. Of course a bicycle makes even more sense.

  • avatar
    joe_thousandaire

    Its quite easy to compare the two, they are both Halo-cars, built to appeal to a pretty narrow part of the market (though Chevy had more mass-market expectations for the Volt).


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