Chevy Volt - Hit or Miss?

Do you want to place a bet on whether or not they sell out? If not, then I don’t see how you can say it’s overpriced.

Yeah, in the end it’s just good the option is there. I have no doubts this isn’t a mass-market solution; $40k starting is not a mass-market price. But it’s a good start, is bound to sell out, and will spur development and interest in the tech to bring prices down and increase distribution further.

I think it’ll be a while until we have the infrastructure to make long distance all-electric driving relatively low hassle.

i.e. 480 volt chargers every 50 miles or so along interstates? Maybe 8-10 years out at the earliest. 480 volt chargers at 25% of the gas stations in the U.S.? Even further out…

Sure there is. The competition is everything else out there that doesn’t have a standard gas-only engine. As for the Tesla, if I cared about it at all, I’d knock his price point too, but I’ve always known it would be impractically high.

Anyone mind posting photos of the Volt, Leaf, and Tesla? Curious what they look like side by side.

Here’s a good analysis (IMO) of the Volt pricing decision.

I could use an electric car for 99% of my travel. Work, home and shopping every day is less than 40 miles total, and I tend to take the train for longer regional trips. But my condo association would have to pay to have exterior outlets installed in the lots. Not going to happen.

10K is a drop in the bucket for new car sales, AFAIK. I’d be shocked (HA!) if GM can even recoup their R&D costs off the initial run. The real question is can it sustain decent sales volume to be profitable eventually; and at $41K ($33.5K if you factor in the tax credits - are those permanent?), I think the answer will be “oh hell no!”

The real question is: who’s the target market here? Most folks willing to spend that kind of money on a car don’t give a shit about fuel efficiency (at least not while gas is still ~$3/gal) but do care about amenities; AFAICT the Volt is actually pretty boring on that score. Someone who’s trying to cut their fuel consumption to save money is gonna go into sticker shock at that price. I try to be at least somewhat eco-conscious, but I bought a Civic instead of a Prius last year because it would take too long to recoup the added cost of the Prius in fuel savings; and that was only a $5K - $6K difference, IIRC. A Volt costs more than twice as much as a Civic; that’s a hell of a lot of gas money.

So all you’re left with are upper-middle-class eco-conscious consumers who can afford the Volt and thinks it appeals to their notion of “reducing their carbon footprint” or whatever. I have hard time believing there’s enough folks like that to make the Volt a success at that price point, but…well, I guess we’ll see.

There may be no other car with its exact specs, but in the real world it’s competing with every fuel efficient car out there.

Isn’t that the irony? The range on these are perfect for city dwellers but they’re also the least likely group to have access to outlets for their cars.

The Leaf (in the middle) is certainly peculiar looking.

That is pretty much exactly the calculations we went through earlier this year. We ended up with a Prius, though, because I found the Civic to be an uncomfortable drive (I’m over 6 feet tall, and I just don’t fit in those cars). I drive about 35 miles each way to work (not by choice, I assure you), so an completely electric car just isn’t available that I could reliably expect to get me to work every day. And there’s nowhere anywhere near where I work that I could recharge during the work day. So it had to be a hybrid. The Prius won on price point, as well as looks (speaking of which, that Leaf looks like a stretched version of the Prius to me). The interior is pretty perfunctory, but given the price, I didn’t expect anything more, and the ride is solid and comfortable. We just drove it from Ann Arbor MI to Philly two weeks ago, and spent $35 in gas each way. Not damned bad.

The main problem with this idea is that people with priuses or other hybrids will buy it. Going from a 100 mpg car(or whatever the prius is) to an infinite mpg car does less good than taking a 15 mpg car and switching to a 26 mpg car.

I predict there will be 0.1% net environmental impact with the arrival of the volt.

Maybe I was being too optimistic. .00001% impact.

So the thing about the pricing is, obviously this is a 1.0 product. GM can’t make that many of them anyway (and probably doesn’t want to, as they know they have bugs to iron out, I’m sure). So it makes perfect sense to price it high, and then reduce the price in future model years.

If the Volt, or something like it, is around in 2015, it’s not still going to cost this much, and that’s the key part.

Chevy Volt: $41K, 40 miles/charge.
Chevy Cruze: $17K, 40mpg.

Can you tell which is which at a glance?

That right there is a huge problem. To restate.

If you can get the people driving 20 mpg cars to replace them with 40 mpg cars, you make a HUGE impact.

Let’s say for simplicity they drive 10000 miles a year.
In their 20 mpg car they have to fill up 500 times.
If they get a 40 mpg car they only have to fill up 250 times (nice math).

Let’s then say we have person B who drives a 50 mpg car (prius) who upgrades to infinity.
The environment just saved 200 fill ups with the prius driver, but person A saved the environment 250 fill ups.

Ergo: We are better off convincing the non eco-nuts to move to a 40mpg car.

The Volt was made, quite literally, to ride the wave of the coming oil apocalypse. Back when oil was 140$ a barrel, and even posters here were predicting 300+$ in a couple of years. A really good electric car would have been on the cutting edge of a new way of life. But… oops, that didn’t happen.

The Volt is still one of the most affordable pure electrics and it should get some respect for that.

Do you have the numbers on MPG figures strictly from the gasoline conversion process? If the car doesn’t substantially compete with fuel-efficient native gas burners, then this selling point is rather moot. If, on the other hand, it ups the gas mileage equivalent without calculating the initial home-charged run, and has a decent range, GM is an utter fool for not pricing this technology more aggressively.

(For my part I can’t imagine how burning gas to turn a generator to then recharge a battery is in any way as efficient as burning gas to just provide motive force.)

Basically Chevy’s majority stakeholder (ie Obama) said that GM needed to produce more non-gas guzzling cars. So even if the market conditions dictate otherwise, they are committed to making cars that use a lot less gasoline (at least until they can buy out the majority stakeholder).

It’s almost certainly not, but that mode of recharging is intended to be a limited use scenario. The idea being that the home charged ranged is enough to meet the average person’s daily driving needs most of the time.

Price fail. And the writing in that article is atrocious. Is that really Slate-affiliated?