Chevy Volt - Hit or Miss?

Lots of articles about the Volt’s announced pricing. One of them is here:

I suspect this product will be a pretty big hit, despite the relatively high initial pricing. The Built in the USA aura will help, I think. It will be interesting to see how fast prices on the Volt (and similar cars) fall over the next 5-10 years.

I think they hit the sweet spot on pricing. But I am t3h bias towards the Detroit 3 and all.

I think I remember reading that the first year’s production run is like 10,000 vehicles. They’ll easily sell them all at that price.

I think it is overpriced if it’s going to compete in the space that Prius already owns.

I know Chevy doesn’t want to be in that space. They want the message to be that the Volt is so awesome and revolutionary that it completely creates a new category of EV, but I think that’s public perception battle they aren’t going to win.

I’ve been interested in the Volt for a while now, but not at that price. There are cheaper viable alternatives like the Prius and Fusion hybrid.

Short term hit, ong term miss. They will sell well for 12mo or so, satisfy initial demand, then tank as too costly for the benefit.

I will admit I’m biased. I am much more a beleiver in loosing vehicle weight than putting in batteries with a poor storage/weight ratio. When you reduce a car’s weight, you can get great performance from a very small, light engine, have smaller, lighter brakes, etc etc. For example I’m far more interested in the new Fiesta and Focus.

The Journal had a review of it a couple of days ago and thought that it was overpriced, especially because it lacks the feel and amenities of a car in that price range. The sweet spot would be below $30 I think (with the tax credit). They’ll sell their 10,000 vehicles but I can’t see this being a hit because of the cost.

But it’s a good for Chevy to get some real world experience in building electric cars, so hopefully it will give them some advantages down the road. And hopefully they fire whoever did the body styling; I can’t decide if it’s ugly or just homely, but either it’s hard to get excited from looking at it.

It does create a new category of EV, at least as far as ones that are commercially available.

Neither of those can feasibly get you around town without burning a drop of gasoline.

I just need to check here, everyone’s aware that the Volt can drive 40 city miles on the electric motor before having to switch to gas, right?

Sure. It’s still too pricey compared to the competition.

How far away are we from a DIY solution of putting up a home-based alternative energy source to charge up an electric car?

I’m very interested in reducing my carbon footprint, but even more interested in curtailing my 3.00+/gallon gas habit.

The way I see it, right now, I could get some decent energy supply out of mounting solar panels on my roof, constructing some sort of wind turbine, or digging down deep for geothermal. Would that be enough, and are DIY solutions cheap enough to be cost saving in the short term?

I’m still waiting for a decent all-in-one solution – like some sort of sewage/bacteria based heater that turns a steam turbine and then feeds my lawn by distributing nitrogen-based waste.

The utopian solution is a hybrid vehicle with an electric engine running off hydrogen fuelcells, with the hydrogen cracked from seawater using energy from nuclear power plants. In order for this to be a reality, electric cars need to get better, fuel cells need to get a lot cheaper, and of course we need a worldwide hydrogen distribution network comparable to the gasoline one we have today.

Until that happy day, if it ever comes, hybrid electric/gasoline cars are pretty obviously the way to go.

Get a diesel and convert it to run on waste oil.

It would also help for America to get over its fear of nuke plants.

There is no competition. I think it’s pretty funny that people knock the price point on this thing, but when Jason Calacanis thinks the 50K starting price of the Tesla Model S puts it within reach of the masses, no one calls him out on it.

Which is it, is $41k too much for a gas/electric hybrid that can run off either, or is $50k a sweet spot for a full-electric that can’t make cross-country trips?


The Leaf is a full-blown electric, will be on sale in less than a year, and costs about $9k less than the Volt.

Or at least close to $30k. That would put them in position to compete with the Leaf, which is going to sell for $32-33.

And hopefully they fire whoever did the body styling; I can’t decide if it’s ugly or just homely, but either it’s hard to get excited from looking at it.

I wouldn’t say that it’s ugly, but it’s definitely sort of dull. They had a pretty cool-looking concept car once upon a time, but at some point they put it through the Boring-o-matic, and now it just looks like a budget sedan.

What’s the state/popularity of hybrids and electrics in Europe? I would think with the generally much higher gas prices there, these things would be very popular. I know diesel is popular there, but I’m curious about hybrids and electrics…

They’re both too expensive for the average consumer.

I think it’s decent looking. Not great, but decent. They might have done better to go with a more distinctive design, as the Prius did.

On that I agree; with a 10K production run though it’s clear they’re not attempting to sell them to the masses.

The Leaf is going to be at a massive disadvantage; in perfect conditionsit might get 140 miles, and then you’re done until it recharges. In bad conditions, around 50 miles! At least with the Volt you can refill the tank and keep on trucking.

Will the Hollywood green community get behind the Volt? Should be interesting to watch.

Well… we’ll see. The Tesla S will offer a battery pack with a 300-mile range that can be quick-charged in 45 minutes. It may be more practical for cross-country trips than you might think. The Leaf quick-charges in 30 minutes (but also has a shorter range). The main limitation is going to be availability of 480v charging stations, but if states start putting these in rest areas, cross country travel with an all-electric might be fairly feasible.

And BTW–I’m not arguing against plug-in hybrids. I think that’s probably going to prove the most practical approach, at least until we have the infrastructure to recharge batteries on the road, and perhaps better battery tech to improve charge times and range. But I do think the price on the Volt is too high. I think most people are going to see that, and then go with a regular hybrid instead.