By on July 27, 2010

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a moment we’ve been waiting for for some time… which might explain why the news isn’t particularly earth-shattering [press release here]. Yes, believe it or not, the Volt will cost $41,000 base including destination charge, just as every bit of speculation has indicated since the Volt was first announced. Perhaps more surprising is GM’s announcement of lease deals starting at $350/month for 36 months with $2,500 down. But just as GM has found with its CTS,  moving high-cost American-branded metal in any kind of volume tends to require heavy dependence on leases. Plus, the fact that the big question mark surrounding EVs in general continues to be long-term battery life makes leasing the obvious option for those who are tempted by the Volt, but don’t want own a lot of expensive, unproven technology. On the other hand, the Feds don’t subsidize EV leases, and with a Federal tax credit, the Volt’s price drops to a mere $33,500… which is less than a thousand dollars more than the Nissan Leaf’s base price (without tax credit, $25,280 with).  Obviously the Volt has certain advantages due to its EREV design, but with the economy still shaky, the Volt’s hefty price premium will work against it, especially as volume builds. Seeing how these two very different EVs do relative to one another will make for some interesting lessons about the future of the electric car.

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86 Comments on “Chevy Volt Priced Starting At $41k, Leases Start At $350/Month...”


  • avatar
    mjz

    Who in their right mind would BUY one when you can lease for $350 per month?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I think that’s GM’s intent.

      Among other things, it’ll benefit them greatly to get these vehicles back for data collection, and for scavenging/recovery (that battery will be worth recycling).

      It’ll also keep expectations high as there is a good chance the Volt’s lithium batteries will not be see the same capacity, long term, as the Prius’ NiMH unit does. Getting those old Volts back before they give GM a black eye will be important.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      How much to buy the car but lease the battery?

      Particularly if [Future Tech] brings about denser power with less mass, have a bolt-in replacement with the common formfactor?

  • avatar
    hreardon

    I have to admit: I have zero interest in the Volt, apart from interest in it being purely electric and watching how this plays out in the real world. That said, at $350/month, they’ve hit the pricepoint that EVERYONE says they want their car payment to be (In a former life I sold cars, and no matter the year, everyone wanted a $350/month payment).

  • avatar
    Steven02

    EN,
    It is a 36 month lease, not a 6 month one.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    36 month lease. Not 6. You had me freaked out there for a second.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Typical GM creative accounting.

    When a Volt is leased, they count it as a $41k sale with an unrealistic end of lease residue value. When the end of lease date comes, they will do a “one time” write off.

    This way, they can post a fake profit up front for the sake of the IPO and monetary bonus for the CEO and political bonus for Obama. As for the unavoidable write off, no one really cares. It’s not like Obama is know for great vision or anything.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      The IPO is likely to happen before the Volt will actually be delivered to anyone.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      You’re right that this is standard-issue incentivized leasing, but to be honest it’s exactly what they need for the market the Volt is being pitched into. Between cash-strapped consumers and businesses looking for fleet, it’s a requirement.

      BMW and Mercedes do it all the time.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      …political bonus for Obama… It’s not like Obama is know for great vision or anything.

      Isn’t there a tea party you should be at somewhere?

      Seriously – now big business is the lapdog of liberalssocialists? I think you’ve been huffing some good ol’ ICE exhaust gas.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    $350 a month is surprisingly low for this. This is going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

    On the volume side though, I believe the first year volume is only supposed to be 10k units. I don’t know what the second year is expected to be, but I don’t think that GM is going to have problems selling 10k of these in 1 year.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Originally, there was a lot of talk about 60K in Year 2 but GM recently announced Year 2 production would be 30K.

      This surprised me but now I think the price explains why they won’t need to build 60K.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    So it’s essentially $420/month plus tax factoring in the down payment. So it’s roughly $450/month.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    And it seems to require premium fuel:

    http://eogld.ecomm.gm.com/NASApp/domestic/proddesc.jsp?year=2011&regionID=1&divisionID=3&type=0&vehicleID=10621&section=modelhome&page=&butID=1

    See item “LUU” near the bottom.

    I was thinking premium fuel was a problem but, since it’s priced like a luxury car, I guess it’s not a big deal. We expect luxury cars to take premium, right?

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      I just read that and was surprised myself that it requires premium. I am curious why.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Steven02,

      Snark about luxury car aside, the premium requirement is so strange that I have to wonder if it’s a mistake in the document.

      Time will tell.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Many small-displacement non-luxury European cars run premium as well, and for the same reason: the only way to wring the performance needed from an engine so tiny is to use a better grade of fuel.

      It’s a non-issue: the car isn’t going to use much gas, and the price difference between the two grades isn’t huge anyways. Were this a Suburban requiring premium it’d be a different story, but a Volt really will not use much fuel.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Also interesting, it looks like it comes with a 30GB hard drive, NAV etc standard. Options look to be including Premium trim package (which is leather), parking assist w/ cameras, and wheels. $41k is actually pretty loaded.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Also interesting, it looks like it comes with a 30GB hard drive

      Slightly off topic, but I keep hearing about 30GB hard drives in cars. Are the auto companies actually stupid enough to put 30GB hard drives in cars or are these in fact SDHC cards. Has to be an SDHC card since I don’t think anyone makes hard drives that small and 32 gig seems to be a common SDHC card size these days. Why not an accessible SDHC slot in the dash rather than something buried behind the dash that I can’t access.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      It’s either a specially hardened device or an SSD drive. Shock, heat and supportability are issues that could keep you from using a commodity disk.

      SD and similar devices aren’t that robust, either, which is why you probably won’t see them here. I’ve seen them go bad with regularity, something I don’t see with good SSD drives or CF.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      Hell, commodity disks don’t last all that long even without shock and heat.

      Even if you were going with rotating media, keeping the bit density down in a tough application is wise. The densities and methods used to achieve them on 2tb+ two platter drives border on absurdity. I mean, my home theater computer loves it, but I can weather re-ripping my bluray collection more easily than I can failures of most other usages.

  • avatar
    SkiD666

    I see that the only options available are:
    – Premium Trim package
    – Polished Wheels
    – Rear Camera and Park Assist

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I had planned to buy one but looks like it will make the most sense to lease. Especially considering the tax credit($0-$7500) is based on your income level. At the end of the 3 year lease period I would suspect the price on a new one(Gen II?) to be lower and with an improved product. Or maybe I’ll just buy it then if it makes sense.

    Either way I can’t wait to get one of these in my garage!

  • avatar
    kurkosdr

    One question: When Americans say “premium”, do they mean 95RON or 98-100RON?

    The “regular” 92RON fuel found in the US is a very bad and unecological fuel that IMO no engine should be forced to burn. In fact, it’s so bad it’s banned here in the EU, all gasolines have to be 95RON or higher.
    So I think a 95RON requirement would be reasonable, especially for a car that prides itself for being enviromentally responsible. But a 98-100RON requirement is a steal. Every car should be able to burn 95RON.

    PS: Convertion from RON to MON: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octane_rating#Examples_of_octane_ratings

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Premium fuel is normally considered to be the 91 (RON+MON)/2, which is roughly equivalent to the 95 RON in Europe.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      Premium is typically classified as 91 octane in the U.S. Which apparently is 95 RON. Most of the cheaper cars in the U.S. run on 87 octane gas that’s typically blended with 10% corn ethanol. Mid-grade gas is usually 89 AKI.

      If you think the numbers are bad in the U.S. for gas, you won’t want to hear about the pathetic cetane numbers at most stations that sell Diesel!

  • avatar
    RetardedSparks

    I’m not surprised GM remains totally tone deaf on marketing.
    With the $40k number being out there for well over a year, they would have served themselves greatly by BEATING it, even if it meant $39,900. Instead, they MISS it by a grand?
    Given that, as noted above, with the good lease deal and high risk of ownership, nobody is actually going to buy this, they would have lost no money at 39.9 and would have gotten some PR bragging points.
    Idiots. Still.

    • 0 avatar
      FleetofWheel

      Can’t stand the “99” pricing gimmick that is almost universal.
      It reeks of sleazy tactics and is visual clutter.
      People would not stop purchasing all manner of items if pricing was in round numbers.
      You still want to see a $40,000 item priced at $39,999?
      Let go of that deeply ingrained marketing belief.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      $350/month lease is pretty good.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      If there are only 10 thousand of them to go around, how many is each dealer going to get?

      Is the Government going to limit/prevent the amount of added dealer markup (ADM) a dealer can demand on top of the MSRP?

      Wouldn’t be surprised if that 41 g’s gets closer to 50 after dealer scalping.

    • 0 avatar
      RetardedSparks

      I’m not saying I like the gimmick, either. Just that coming in “under” 40 would have been good PR and cost them nothing.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      THIS will be the real indicator of whether GM dealers have learned anything in the past year or two. GM dealers just love to mark up cars they think are popular, like the Camaro when it first came out and the G8. How did the latter work out for Pontiac dealers?

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Honestly, why would you expect the gov’t to try to limit dealer markups? If they do, they are interfering with the GM, which people don’t want to hear. Leaving the status quo is the way for the gov’t to go here.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      I’m saying dealer markups throw away any price comparisons with the competition. 41k, overpriced as it is, just becomes a random number. Again, I wouldn’t be surprised if the “Adjusted” sticker is closer to 50.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      That doesn’t take into account that other manufactures dealers won’t do markups as well. It isn’t like that didn’t happen a few years ago with the Prius when gas prices where sky high. It isn’t like it isn’t going to happen with the Leaf when it is released.

      It also doesn’t take into account that most people don’t pay MSRP for a car either, most people pay less. Essentially, all MSRP values are irrelevant because almost no one pays MSRP. But, it is the only metric that can be compared on cost.

      So, what was the point again?

  • avatar

    I’m curious – will the bank that buys the car (GMAC I’m assuming) and holds the lease get to claim the tax credit?

  • avatar
    thalter

    Just a guess on the premium fuel:

    With the expectation that typical users (commuters) will run on EV mode most of the time, it is possible that the fuel could remain in the tank for some time (I recall Bob Lutz’s hyperbolic boast that Volts would be traded in with the same tank of gas they were delivered with).

    The engine probably runs fine on regular unleaded, but premium fuel was specified because it presumably has a longer shelf life, and as it ages is will eventually “degrade” into lower octane gas.

  • avatar
    Incredulous

    Three questions:
    Why would 87 (RON+MON all /2) be bad for engines that are designed to burn it? (It wouldn’t actually.) Why couldn’t said engine burn a higher octane and if it could, why would that be “better”? (It can and it wouldn’t, by the way.) Do bigger numbers make you feel superior?

  • avatar
    SkiD666

    Leasing seems very attractive:

    Chevrolet Volt – MSRP $41,000
    3 year lease (-$2500) = $350/month

    Toyota Prius IV with navigation – MSRP $29,840
    3 year lease (-$2500) = $429/month <- from Toyota.com

    • 0 avatar
      lawmonkey

      Interesting comparison. What fun they are having with estimated residual values!

      I think the Prius market is a bit different though – those buyers are relatively less risk averse, and are more likely (like most Toyota buyers) to be looking it to buy and keep for the long run.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Curious to know the mileage requirements of each.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    Ummm.. What happened to the TTAC “Volt Death Watch”? I thought this car, according to TTAC, was never going to make it to production?

    I can’t wait to see a full year of sales/lease figures on this one. If I’m wrong by stating that GM will sell/lease enough of these to keep the car/concept viable, then I will humbly eat my words.

  • avatar
    Bridge2farr

    Can TTACDers believe GM is not dead? And The Volt is a reality? Oh what dark days…

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      Not so technically, GM did die. New Corp or whatever its called is a new legal entity. Not only did they have to declare bankruptcy, but also needed government assistance to survive said bankruptcy. So please don’t try to take anything away from TTAC on this, cause they were spot on while everyone else was in denial.

      And since, you know, absent a government bailout GM would be in Chapter 7, the Volt really got saved by the same bailout. So absent that bailout, TTAC would have been 100% correct.

      So, on the whole, TTAC did extremely well. Sure, things have turned out a bit differently, but given the information on hand at the time, TTAC was a lot more accurate than the GM boosters.

  • avatar
    SomeDude

    41k or $350/month is about right. Well within means of the early adopters. Give it a clever marketing push and the Volt will sell like hotcakes. Plus it has basically no competitors (the ugly and hugely impractical Leaf is an obvious failure), nor are there any coming in less than 2-3 years.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    So is the mileage still going to come in right around 30mpg after 40 miles of electric use?

    The Leaf is definitely an “obvious failure”.

    http://www.egmcartech.com/2010/05/25/nissan-leaf-orders-sold-out-in-the-united-states/

    “Prices for the 2011 Nissan LEAF will start at $32,780 but with a federal tax-credit prices will come in as low as $25,280”

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      Selling out pre-orders is completely different from the production run being sold out. Until someone is allowed to test the Leaf in and uncontrolled environment, which to my knowledge hasn’t happened yet, I still say vaporware.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      I have to agree with Jimal here. Selling pre-orders might suggest it will do well. But it is much more of a short term metric. I am curious to see how performs long term. Everyone loves the Genesis, but I don’t think either is selling well enough to really justify their existence.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    The fuel economy is supposed to be close to 50 MPG when running in generator mode.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      You believe that? I believe in fairies. Who’s to say which of us has the more likely belief?

      “No bullets? Ah, but if all of you in the audience who believe in fairies will clap your hands, then my gun will be magically filled with bullets.”

      Blam! Blam! Blam!

      – Phil Moscowitz in “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?”

      Belief in fairies wins.

      OK, seriously… GM just drove the thing from Austin, TX to NYC on their heavily hyped “Freedom Drive” and didn’t release any specifics on fuel consumption.

      What does that tell you?

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      KixStart,
      Quite literally, 50 mpg is the latest information that GM has released.

      http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2010/04/13/volt-mpg-miles-electric-drive/

      This was from April of this year. 50 mpg, they say +/- 20% depending on driving behavior. They also say that the 40 miles on battery is less during the winter when the heater has to be used in the car.

      Now, with all of that being said, I will want to know how well it will perform in the city and on the highway in extended range mode. But equating GM’s statement on extended range mode to fairies is a bit of a stretch… well since Mr. 230 mpg is gone.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Yes, I had noticed Farah said something about 50mpg. However, given that GM was willing to talk up the 230mpg claim, I don’t put a lot of faith in off-hand remarks like that.

      Lately, GM has repeatedly referred to 340 miles of range and has done so fairly consistently. If you know the fuel tank size, then you have some basis for an estimate. I’ve seen reports that the tank is 9 gallons. With no reserve, that works out to a charge-sustaining mode fuel economy of 33mpg. With a one gallon reserve, that’s 38mpg (I’ve never seen Detroit quote range figures with a reserve).

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      And, again, for emphasis, GM didn’t say word one about the actual fuel consumption between Austin, TX and NYC. I doubt that they’re worried about bowling us over with good news.

    • 0 avatar
      nonce

      They also say that the 40 miles on battery is less during the winter when the heater has to be used in the car.

      What the hell? Does the gasoline engine not run at all if the batteries are full?

      The ICE is very inefficient, except when you are capturing the waste heat. Then it’s 90% efficient.

      The ICE should engage in winter months to charge the battery and heat up the car. After the car reaches comfortable temperature it can stop.

  • avatar

    Buying a fuel-efficient car that you can’t use for long trips doesn’t make sense: it’s exactly the long trips that put a lot of miles on your car.
    It’s particularly those long 200 mile or 500 mile trips you need fuel efficiency for.
    For instance, when I do a weekend trip to Lake Tahoe in my Prius, I do 2×200 miles while using only 8 gallons of gas.

    People who think they can run their Volt for 95% in electric mode are going to be very disappointed. I think it’s going to be more like 50% for normal car users.

    So, what’s the value of the plug-in electric feature of the Volt?
    Versus a car that gets 50 MPG (like the Prius), with 12,000 miles per year, assuming the Volt gets 50 MPG in gasoline mode, with 50% of your miles in electric mode, the Volt saves only 120 gallons of gasoline per year.

    Gasoline will need to cost $10/gallon to get a fairly modest fuel cost saving of $1200/year for the Volt versus the Prius!!!
    No wonder Toyota is frowning at plug-in hybrids.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Your believes of the avg user only being 50% EV are only your believes. Data suggest otherwise.

      I would also disagree on the need for fuel efficiency on the long trips. You really need this for where you drive the most. I drive 22 miles on way to work, 44 miles a day, times 5 days a week. 220 miles a week going to and from work. This doesn’t include weekend trips for other errands. Most of the miles I put on my car are from frequent short trips. If I was 200 miles trip, one way, I would have to be making it twice a month to equal only my commute. Also, since most cars get better fuel efficiency on the highway, it is less impressive for a hybrid on the highway, especially considering highway performance of hybrids.

      I would also think that if people are taking trips and have a family, a Prius/Volt wouldn’t be the choice to take on the trip simply because it doesn’t have the storage space required to take everything that is needed (I have a 2 year old son). Often, this might be a CUV or SUV. But, when a smaller vehicle will work, it would make perfect sense to take it.

      But, if you want to get into a price calculation contest, you should see how much money you are saving from a a Prius to a Corolla, Civic, Cobalt, or Sentra. The number is actually quite small.

      And, for the record, Toyota will be coming out with a plug in Prius soon.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      “I would also disagree on the need for fuel efficiency on the long trips. You really need this for where you drive the most. I drive 22 miles on way to work, 44 miles a day, times 5 days a week.”

      Sounds like the Nissan Leaf will be a perfect choice for you. 100 miles of range, plug it in over night and never, ever emit one single bit of CO2.

      Can’t claim that with the Volt.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      Garbage,
      It isn’t a perfect fit either. I need a car that goes more than 100 miles sometimes too. Can’t claim to make a trip from Dallas to San Antonio either (in laws live in San Antonio). But, it also doesn’t work for other reasons. I could get a Sentra that is essentially the same size for far less. Honestly, I am probably not going to get a Sentra, a Leaf, or a Volt. I can’t stand the Sentra, need to sometimes drive more than 100 miles, and I don’t want a 4 seater (need 5 at least), unless it is a Camaro, Mustang, or something more fun to drive. But, really, I have a car that is fine working order that is paid off. I am not going to get rid of it for a long time. It is a 2004 Mazda 6.

      If I was going to get either a Leaf, a Volt, or a Prius, it would probably be a Prius. But I am not looking at either of the 3 right now.

    • 0 avatar
      nonce

      If you regularly make long trips, then the current generation of EVs is probably not a good fit for you.

      The error comes when some people conflate “isn’t a good fit for me” with “what a stupid idea for a car!” I don’t complain about how a pick-up truck can’t comfortably fit my family.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Try getting 2 adults, 3 kids in car seats and two dogs, plus gear in your Prius. Just because the Volt doesn’t work for your scenario doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. Two of your Prius’s couldn’t get done what my Chevy Tahoe does pretty much every weekend in the summer. Even if I could cut the boat up into smaller pieces. Does that mean the Prius doesn’t make sense?

    • 0 avatar

      Indeed, I do trips with 2 adults, 2 children + 1 grandma in the Prius. Very efficient!

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      “Try getting 2 adults, 3 kids in car seats and two dogs, plus gear in your Prius. Just because the Volt doesn’t work for your scenario doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. Two of your Prius’s couldn’t get done what my Chevy Tahoe does pretty much every weekend in the summer. Even if I could cut the boat up into smaller pieces. Does that mean the Prius doesn’t make sense?”

      This argument makes no sense.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      The point that the Prius isn’t a car for everyone, neither is the Volt, neither is a Tahoe.

  • avatar
    mythicalprogrammer

    … Wow that’s a lot for that car. If I had the money to buy this one, I’d take the Leaf or wait a little and get the sexy looking Tesla S model. Sure the volt ain’t fully electric but damn $5k+ saving can buy me a laptop and a computer. They’re both suppose to save me money on mpg and they’re suppose to be Urban cause no way in hell I’mma road trip with these cars.

  • avatar
    340-4

    I could drive this thing 99% of the year and never use a drop of gas.

    Excellent.

    However for long trips, only a 320 mile range?

    More stops for gas. Wonder what the mpg is for long 75 mph interstate cruises (where I assume the battery is not helping much, if at all).

    Wonder when they’ll be available in ‘other states’…?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      320 miles is around about what my Fit will do, and for much the same reason: the gas tank is a puny little thing.

      You get used to it, and it gives you the opportunity to take breaks, appreciate local culture, and pee.

  • avatar
    drifter

    99% of the time the battery is carrying the dead weight of engine an fuel tank

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    I drive 14 miles, non-freeway, round-trip each day to/from work. If I ONLY drove that car to work, with a 1/4 tank of gas, I would (concievably) never use that 1/4 tank of gas (if I plug in every night at home).
    Now, consider I could still get 40 to 50 mpg if I decide to go on vacation, or drive across the country, then I’m getting what I would with any highly fuel efficient small ICE car. What’s the benefit? I only have to own one car. Not two, which cold bring my total vehicle cost to well over $41k.
    I have two words about the Leaf. “Range Anxiety”.
    Let’s not forget that Fisker is planning on using, essentially, the same type of technology and is counting on a similar price of around $40k for its sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      “I drive 14 miles, non-freeway, round-trip each day to/from work. If I ONLY drove that car to work, with a 1/4 tank of gas, I would (concievably) never use that 1/4 tank of gas (if I plug in every night at home).”

      If you go with a Nissan Leaf, that range is 50 miles each way and you would never use a single drop either. Nor would you be emitting any CO2. Are Leaf owners not able to plug in as well?

      “Now, consider I could still get 40 to 50 mpg if I decide to go on vacation, or drive across the country, then I’m getting what I would with any highly fuel efficient small ICE car.”

      Nobody knows what the actual mpg rating wil be, but rumors are low 30’s, not 40 or 50mpg. 50mpg is what a Prius gets. For 20 thousand dollars less.

      “What’s the benefit? I only have to own one car. Not two, which cold bring my total vehicle cost to well over $41k.”

      You’re assuming that the person buying a Leaf doesn’t already have that second car.

      “I have two words about the Leaf. “Range Anxiety”.”

      I think you might have that confused with “fear mongering”, which is the ploy alot of GM fans and government “plants” want to spread.

      How one can make a case for an econo-box that costs twice the price of a typical compact (that will get the same if not better mileage once that “charge is depleted”), let alone numerous luxury models while doing everything possible to dismiss and discredit a true “environmentally friendly, 0 emmisions” EV is laughable.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      GM said 50 mpg in April. I would tend to go with that instead of rumors. But, till EPA numbers come out, the argument doesn’t really mean anything.

      A Leaf would only work for me if I had 2 cars. But, it also means I have to take the same car on all of my long trips. It would also mean that my wife and I couldn’t both go on long trips at the same time to different places. Honestly, a 100 mile range isn’t going to work for me. I live in Texas, things are spread out here.

      If I had to chose between a Leaf and a Volt, it would have to be a Volt. But, I there are much better options for me that either. Including all of the options that are out there, if I wanted a cheap, fuel efficient car, it would probably be a Honda Fit.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Don’t get marrried to that 50mpg number, Steven02. Especially from that Fox News articl you referenced; that same article referred to the ridiculous 230mpg number, too.

      Further, we now find that the Volt requires premium. Why is this? Well, it turns out that they need to do this to get maximum efficiency in combustion, it gains them 5 to 10%. I’d say they must have been having a lot of trouble making any reasonable MPG if they were desperate enough to require premium.

  • avatar
    Overshoe

    This will be the most recalled vehicle in Gm’s (old and New) history.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    I’m still a doubter, at least for use in my situation.

    Before I could decide anything, I’d like to see some performance figures – and real world performance figures at that. I know that electric motors give great torque, and that the motors in the Volt give the equivalent of 140 HP. Those points conceptually sound great.

    However, I live in Dallas. I drive 38 miles a day when commuting. Dallas has the distinction of either being damn hot or damn cold. Thus you have to factor in the range diminishment and power losses caused by using the A/C when it’s 100 degrees F or the heat when it’s 34 degrees F. Additionally, with freeway use, you’re going to lose more range. Speeds here are normally between 65 – 75 mph. My current car has an average speed calculator, and over the course of a week, with city and freeway driving combined, I average 37 – 39 mph. When you figure in the amount of miles that are spent on surface streets going slowly, that average includes some “skippin’ along” on the freeway.

    I understand that the Volt will supplement its range with its ICE but what kind of performance do you get from that 71 HP generator with the A/C on?. I don’t know much about physics, but I’m having trouble with conceptually grasping getting 140 electrical HP out of a 71 HP input.

    Note: I’m getting these figures from Wikipedia, so they may well be wrong. If so please don’t hesitate to correct me.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt

    Additionally if it IS possible to get 140 HP output from a 71 HP input, please don’t hesitate to correct me there as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      You are correct, except for one thing. You aren’t using 140hp all of the time. That is the maximum output. The Volt has some charge left in the batteries and will kick in more power if it is needed. You don’t need that much hp if you cruising along the highway. Accelerating will require more hp. But, you will only get max output when you are flooring it.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Lokki: “Dallas has the distinction of either being damn hot or damn cold.”

    You should have warned us to put down the coffee… At least, warned those of us in Minnesota. A temp of 34F is nothing. A temp of -34F, now that’s something.

    Lokki: “I understand that the Volt will supplement its range with its ICE but what kind of performance do you get from that 71 HP generator with the A/C on?. I don’t know much about physics, but I’m having trouble with conceptually grasping getting 140 electrical HP out of a 71 HP input.”

    The thing is predicated on the notion that you don’t need 150hp at the wheels all the time, 20-30hp is more like it. The Volt runs the 74hp generator as necessary to recharge the battery.

    • 0 avatar
      Daanii2

      “The Volt runs the 74hp generator as necessary to recharge the battery.”

      No it doesn’t. The generator only provides electricity directly to the motors. The generator does not recharge the battery.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      We’re both wrong – and right. It partially recharges the battery but it never fully recharges the battery (they don’t fill the battery with expensive gas instead of cheap electricity). It just recharges the battery enough, as necessary, to keep the car going along.

      At least, according to GM, that’s what happens. It wouldn’t surprise me if they surprised me with a different strategy in the production vehicle.

      Among other things, they admitted they run the engine at different RPMs that follow the general workload. This suggests that the generator output is being used directly. Perhaps the battery is an energy reserve at that point for maximum power. The battery could be recharged opportunistically. That strategy would work reasonably well.

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