By on June 10, 2013

GM is sitting on 4.5 months of slow-moving Volt inventory, says the Detroit News. To make matters worse, production on the 2014 model is about to start. To make a dent into the 140 days of Volt supply, what do you think GM will do?

You guessed it, they don’t call you the Best & Brightest for nothing. GM offers $5,000 off 2012 Volts (yep, there still are a few sitting around) and $4,000 off 2013 Volts, Chevrolet spokeswoman Michelle Malcho told the Detroit paper.

Alternatively, the Volt can be leased for $269 a month for 36 months, with $2,399 due at signing, or bought with zero percent financing for 48 months, and receive $3,000 in cash off the price.

The DetN was told that “GM has increased its incentives to stay in the electric vehicle game.”

Volt sales were up 1.4 percent to 7,157 vehicles through May. Volt sales have fallen for the past three months.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

37 Comments on “GM Shells Out Cash “to stay in the electric vehicle game.”...”


  • avatar
    grzydj

    Isn’t that a Chevy Cruze?

    It’s too bad GM had to confuse the general public about what kind of car the Volt is, because most people still don’t know that it’s a hybrid, but branded as an electric car.(?)

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      Volt is an electric car, capable of operating as a hybrid to extend range.

      It is just as capable of operating as a pure electric as any other electric car.

      It can also be driven coast to coast, which no pure electric can do in reasonable time.

      • 0 avatar
        Type57SC

        I thought it couldn’t charge the batteries from the engine? wouldn’t that make it not capable of operating as a traditional hybrid?

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        The drivetrain on the volt works exactly like it does on the Prius. The only difference is the electric only range caused by the larger batteries in the Volt.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Wrong.

          A Prius is a parallel hybrid.

          The Volt is a series hybrid.

          They do not work the same.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The engine does drive the wheels of the Volt in some situations, so I’d say it’s both.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            Volt was a brand new system. GM coined the term Extended Range Electric Vehicle, which is probably the best way to describe it.

            Volt can operate without the ICE altogether. That makes it Electric first, then Series Hybrid as a backup. It defies simple labeling.

          • 0 avatar
            jeober

            Prius and Volt are both powersplit based hybrids. So these can be labelled as “series/parallel” . The Volt has a much larger battery capable of charge depletion operation in all electric range and plug-in charging.

            After the Volt has depleted its battery portion for all electric range, it operates like a Prius – in charge sustain mode.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            The Volt and the plug-in Prius are basically the same thing now. The differences are in the range for each propulsion source, and the extra hoo-ha GM had to use to work around the HSD patents.

          • 0 avatar
            amca

            The only time a Volt acts like a parallel hybrid is during a narrow range of speeds around 55 mph. The rest of the time, it is a series hybrid. I’ve driven a Volt – even when the gas engine is running, it still feels like an electric because, in fact, that’s how the car is being propelled.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            Here is the easiest way to differentiate the two. The Volt is an electric car with ICE assist & the Prius is an ICE car with electric assist. The Prius has more in common with my PU than it does with the Volt in that both are tied to a gas pump. The Volt has the ability to run on electricity indefinitely. I suppose the periodic motor maintenance run would eventually force you to a gas station, but you get the point. I can make a fully charged PIP run it’s ICE and burn gas before I reach the end of my block. And considering most Volt owners easily surpass the EPA 37 MPG in the real world with low 40′s MPG while in the charge sustaining mode I would hardly call that a weak point for the Volt. The Volt was optimized for the all electric mode, not the gas mode like every other hybrid.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        >>> Volt is an electric car, capable of operating as a hybrid to extend range

        In my opinion, GM is confusing people trying to gain some sort of marketing advantage. Just simplify, call it a PHEV, and be proud of the fact it’s the best selling PHEV. Don’t get hyper-technical with buyers that can’t even grasp the differences between FWD and RWD.

        >>> It can also be driven coast to coast, which no pure electric can do in reasonable time.

        There is no automobile in existence that can make it coast to coast in a reasonable amount of time. Electric, ICE, or with a gas turbine shooting a 500 ft flame out the back.

    • 0 avatar
      someJuan

      I consider myself a car guy, but had no clue as to what the Volt really was for the longest time. Electric? Hybrid? Something new? It wasn’t until I was in the market for a new commuter car that I really looked into it. Once I understood what it was, I wanted to buy one, but it was priced out of my range. I ended up buying a 2013 VW Passat instead.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      if they sell it as a plug-in hybrid (which it is) they have to compete with their 30 mpg against the Prius with over 50 mpg. At 30 mpg people really would wonder why to buy this car.

      But as an EV, they can throw in their 96 MPGe (or whatever the EPA came up with).

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    You would think the UAW would be demanding the plug get pulled to save their benefits.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    RenCen seriously do another zero down lease for $289ish, you’d have at least one new buyer. I was just going to buy a 3,000 mile W-Impala at Manheim in August for 15ish, but a zero down & affordable Volt lease would tempt me into new… no way am I buying it though even for the same money.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    It’s the usual GM giveaway program after overbuilding. I recall them doing the same on the last model trucks.

    The Volt is a plug-in hybrid since it has both a fuel filler and a plug.

    Alternative fuel vehicle sales are quite variable month-to-month, but the latest trend indicates the Leaf is on a relative tear.

    In any case, this latest discount will make the Volt fairly affordable for anyone willing to deal with the plug.

  • avatar

    the people I have sold them to absolutely love the car. the question is how many past early adopters and fleet buyers are going to want one? I will give GM credit for leading with advanced technology but it has to make sense in terms of return on investment. how to stimulate demand without government subsidies and rising fuel prices? if we can solve that, the car is a home run!

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      Advanced technology? Where is it?

      If the hybrid known as Volt can be sold for $30k and actually turn a profit, then it is advanced technology for sure.

      If it has to be more expensive and a destined money loser, it is not.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    There are a couple of used 2012 models advertised on cars.com around here for about $24K, including one that appears to be fully loaded, with leather, navigation, etc.

    At that price, even I am thinking about one, because the car is optimized for the way I use a car: daily commutes within its electric-only range. . . and I don’t have to invest in a special 220v charger to “re-fill” it over night.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      DC Bruce, I know you know cars pretty well. But, you do realize that the engine in the Volt does not charge the battery? Perhaps 120 volt charging is good enough.

      • 0 avatar
        colin42

        The volt can and does recharge its batteries by the engine

        • 0 avatar
          gslippy

          Sure, while getting 33 mpg. The only way to make the Volt worthwhile is to plug it in.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @MCS- Volt can be driven across the country in the same time as conventional vehicles. With regular gas stops it can be driven round the clock.

            A pure electrics, such as Leaf can only make its battery range, say 100 miles a day, then have to be recharged overnight.

            Volt can cross the country in a couple of days. That seems reasonable to me, and apparently to many Americans who make trips of such length.

            Leaf would require around a month. That is NOT a reasonable time.

          • 0 avatar
            colin42

            Oh I agree. The engine’s mpg is a real weak point. I put this down to converting from gas to brake power – to electricity to forward motion. This is an area GM need to focus on.

            This is why I always ask people who ask me that it is a great car for traveling 30 to 50 Miles between recharging. Less than this it’s cheaper to own a traditional car and more than this and it’s better to drive a Prius.

            But when used in the ideal way the cost per mile is really low. I filled up with gas yesterday I got over 2500 miles on less than 8 gallons.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @Gslippy- That is the reason for the car.

            It is an electric vehicle. Accessories, drive, everything is electric needing no more than a battery, fuel cell, inductive pickup, name your source of electricity.

            Volt is first an electric vehicle. The current state of energy storage technology forces the onboard range extending capability.

            As for the ongoing debate, “Does the ICE charge the battery?” The answer is YES, just at the same rate that the electric drive demands output, thus not recharging, but maintaining the state of charge of the battery. I think of it as series hybrid operation with the battery as a sort of a buffer.

        • 0 avatar
          jeober

          only for charge sustain (regen capture). It will not recharge the depletion mode capacity of the battery that the plug-in addresses

          • 0 avatar
            colin42

            So what is the Mountain mode for? This will recharge the batteries? I ask as a serious question as although I drive a volt daily I live in the Midwest where we don’t have mountains and therefore I’ve never used it!

            My thought was it would recharge the battery from the engine so when you hit a mountain you still have sufficient power to drive fast than a speeding snail

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Mountain mode sets a higher floor for the minimum battery capacity, so it can muster enough juice for elevation climbs. You do have to select it before you reach the mountains, though.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Why doesn’t GM simply market the Volt as a road-going gas/electric locomotive? After all, the principle is the same – the wheels are driven electrically, either by the batteries or by the engine driving the generator.

    Pretty simple to understand to me, and nothing else in the world like it…

    I’d be proud to own one if I could have afforded one at the time.

    Not sure if it would have been to my advantage for my 100-mile-per-day commute, though.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @Zachman- Volt’s “series hybrid” mode is as you describe, but its not Volt’s strength. It is one of several secondary modes. The primary mode is “plug-in electric”.

      If you could have plugged in the Volt at work, you could have achieved close to 100% plug-in electric operation at very low cost per mile. With the rest giving you “only” 35-40 mpg.

      When gas was $3.79, I used my own electric rate and calculated that a Volt would be cheaper than a 50 mpg overall Prius until something like 83 miles a day with no opportunity to recharge.

      Some employers are giving the electricity to their employees with EVs, but even if they charged at their cost, it would be much cheaper than any gas or diesel powered miles! For-profit charging stations undoubtedly narrow that gap.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    According to the photo, the best way to sell all the extra Volts is to give a good deal on the Cruze.

  • avatar
    HiFlite999

    The Volt’s gas-only EPA rating of 37 mpg is a joke. The only way to make it that bad is to never plug in, or use it only for very long trips. In 50% all electric and 50% “charge sustain mode” (engine running) I’m averaging around 80 mpg without much effort.

    Also:

    1) If the battery is charged, the engine *never* comes on. (Unlike any other hybrid).
    2) The motor has more power than the engine. (Unlike any other hybrid). IE, the motor is primary, the engine, secondary.
    3) With one exception, the engine runs at a speed unrelated to the vehicle speed. The minimum and most-usual speed is about 3000 rpm and the throttle is full open (no throttle plate pumping losses).
    4) This single exception that seems to cause wingnut palpitations is that in a steady-state cruise, with battery depleted, and at relatively high speed, the engine *may*, for efficiency, ASSIST in driving the wheels directly. It is NEVER the primary motive force.

    The Volt is a complicated car to understand fully, but it is not necessary to understand it to benefit. Drive less than ~100 miles per day, plug it in to a 110v outlet at night, and you will have a very quiet, comfortable, good-performing car with class leading real-world fuel economy.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Not sure what is going on, but I’m doing some work in Texas this week and saw THREE Volts in ONE day. In Texas… you know the land of oil and pickup trucks. I see a few in my native Florida, but never this many in such a short time span. The only Volt that looks good is the black one because it fixes that stupid under window and rear end treatment GM rigged up after the conversion from never going to happen wild concept car to battery powered Cruze.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      We are not just the land of oil and pick ups. We are the land of natural gas and wind turbines and cheap electricity in many areas. If you live in the Texas heat and drive Texas distances then you are likely to become an “every molecule” kind of guy. You are also more likely to see that the cost of ownership for a pick up is better than for a GM or Ford sedan in most areas here.

    • 0 avatar
      HiFlite999

      I find a significant fraction of Volt owners to be Gulf/Iraq/Afghanistan vets who understand a human cost of oil that’s not reflected in the gas station price.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • J & J Sutherland, Canada
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India