Any Chevy Volt owners here?

I saw a Chevy Volt the other day driving down the road. There don’t seem to be many in this area. I’ve seen more Teslas than Volts I think. But I like the styling, except the back window seems a little on a small side, so visibility out the rear might be a problem.

The configuration of the Volt seems like it would fit my driving style: A couple times a month I may have to drive 100 miles in a day; most days I drive about 30 miles a day. So on most days I’d rarely use the gas tank w/the Volt. I could imagine going for weeks, maybe months on end without ever having to put gas in the tank since I’d recharge every night.

The all-electrics would cause me grief on those few days each month when I had to drive longer distances, and the Prius delivering only a mile or two on the battery before the gas starts being used, it seems like I could get a more economical ride per mile w/the Volt.

If you own a Volt, or have some inside scoop, what do you think? Is the Volt a winner, or will it prove to be like the Tucker, just another a runner-up?

This I think is why you won’t see many of us going ga ga over the Volt.

The advantage over hybrids is not that clear yet the price is really hard to justify. You must live in a sweet spot of distance in the middle as the Prius plug in is better at short and long distances…and then, there is the initial cost difference and the long term proven reliability of the Prius. Dip your pen in the ink well and sign over your retirement savings for a Volt with yet, nebulus returns. Or, buy a proven commodity. The choice is made by many already.

Good info. Thanks. It does appear from the chart the Volt offers significant per mile savings over the Prius in the 30 mile per day range. I have no idea how these two cars compare in initial cost tho. And reliability remains unproven in the Volt.

If 60 cents/mile looks “good”, you can do a great deal better with an econobox hatchback, such as the Hyundai Accent. Depreciating a $20,000 (loaded Accent) over 10 years and driving 15,000 miles per year gives an overall cost, excluding insurance of about $4500 per year, or 30 Cents per mile. This includes an average of $1000 for maintenance and repairs per year.

If the electric power comes form coal, there is no CO2 reduction with a PHV. So you are spending a lot of money trying to be “green”. Only in Washington state, or some Canadian provinces with hyro-electric power (Brithish Columbia, Manitoba, and Quebec) would you be able to make that claim.

The public, by and large, is not stupid and instinctively looks for a bottom line advantage.

During the 70s fuel crisis and rising Japanese imports, Henry Ford II quipped: “people will pay almost anything for an economy car!”

The economy and “durable” car was as game changer/disruptive concept to domestic auto manufacturers. Darn near killed GM, Ford, Chrysler in the 70’s, 80’s and again in 2009. I’d bet that the future will lie in gas+100 mile battery vehicle.

I think @Docnick analogy is OK. One could make the same argument on an high mileage Accent vs a lower mileage Accord. The economic decision for anything will be based not only on the payback scenario but also in what are the alternatives to the money initially saved vs the money saved longterm.

If you can afford the Volt (it is slightly quieter than the Prius and has better acceleration on my test drive).

Owning a Prius in the early 00’s was pretty cool. Ten years later, a Prius is mundane.
If you can comfortably afford a PHV then go for it and go for Style.

Personally, I really like the Volt concept. It’s just that GM, typically, does not take it or present day technology does not allow it extended to a realistic conclusion. Imagine if the Volt cost $20k, similar to the new Leaf after fed rebate, and went 80 miles, like a Leaf, on a charge. After 80 miles, the motor would then kick in…(though as I have stated before, it’s still more like a Prius then a range extender.)
If this were the case, they couldn’t make enough of them. 90 percent of the owners would only use gas on the weekends, if at all.

IMHO, the Volt, Prius PHV, and Leaf need to have a distinctive body style and features. Everybody recognizes a Prius II and the Honda H1, No one remembers Prius 1.

@Docnick " if electricity comes from coal, there is no CO2 reduction with a PHV." I assume you mean electric drive car…
We had this debate before and it is incorrect to assume that EVs or cars with partial electric drive with their 90 % efficient motors do not still show significant reduction in CO2 emissions, even from the dirtiest sources, coal and oil. Single source pollution is much easier to deal with than that of thousands of cars in congested areas. As bad as a coal plant is, thousands of ICE cars with their hugely inefficient ompared to electric motors, are worse, and should be replaced by thousands of EVs or PHVs running off those plants. All the research backs it up and why presently, the govt. . gives rebates regardless of the electricity source. The numbers don’t lie. For one thing, you don’t need to increase the number of plants as off hour production can easily handle charging the present number and those for the foreseeable future of EVs. Coal is already polluting and the EVs reduce the emissions of gasoline powered cars and it has little to do with the coal plants presently producing power.

Your assumption may seem instinctily logical, but the actual numbers And all the other factors are being disregarded. One simple explanation can be found here but they are all over “googlesville”.

I could be dead wrong but I think the Volt is going to be a flop. The Chevy dealer near me had a couple of them out front for months on end with no takers before they eventually disappeared. Whether someone actually bought them or whether they were part of that dealer to dealer transfer for tax credits thing that was being investigated I have no idea.

Follow eBay’s “completed auctions” as a guideline and it will be found that almost every Volt advertised has been a no-sale no matter what the price was.

Need the tax credits? Which will bring the initial price down to highend Camry,

+2 for @dagosa

"As bad as a coal plant is, thousands of ICE cars are worse..."

It’s more effective to control the greenhouse gas output from a single source, than for large numbers of smaller sources.

"you don't need to increase the number of plants as off hour production can easily handle charging"

Total electricity generation capacity is sized to accommodate peak demand, which is essentially afternoon to early evening. At night, when it’s more likely that EVs will be charging, the demand is far less, so as dagosa says, there’s plenty of capacity which is not being used at that time.

As a side note, for that reason, solar and wind, although variable, are most likely to be contributing power at about the time of peak demand.

Think of it. It’s tough to justify the price of a Volt, when after 30 miles, the Volt then gets only 37 mpg, little better then a new Accord in the highway mileage…

I vaguely remember reading a story recently that stated that there are well over 9,000 Volts still sitting at Chevrolet dealers and a number of used ones. There was also a story last year about an investigation of dealers who were fudging paperwork and transferring cars amongst themselves to get that 7500 dollar tax credit. No idea what the status on that is.

What I want to know is "how is it that Tesla can be successful while GM can’t"
Hard to imagine the amount of money that GM spent prior to taxpayer bailout and then some more $$$ after taxpayer ownership. Perhaps, GM should spinoff Volt with into something with less bureaucracy and with young people engineering,

"I could be wrong, but I think the Volt will be a flop"
As of now, you are a genius and all knowing, magnificent Carnac the omnipotent. It’s hard to pinpoint why, other then PRICE. The car from all reviews, seems to do exactly what was intended. But, they really didn’t intend it do much. Even the Leaf has felt the pressure to be more reasonably priced. It dropped $6k. It’s hard to make a “green” statement for over $30k when you can only make that statement for 30 miles. I feel it’s the politics of long range batteries that are cheap enough and not the reality. Other then the feeble battery, the Volt in most peoples opinion, has no technology to justify it’s luxury car price. ICE cars are pulling out all of the stopps to be competitive. Now, if GM could make an Awd SUV with the same range and performance as the Volt and at the same price, they may have something. For now “flop” is a kind word. If it were $20 k, we all might buy one.

From the get go, some of us have always thought the Volt was an advertising “come on”, never intended to be that good or successful, but a bail out justification. GM’s Edsel ?

@dagosa Interesting article, with a lot of IFs. My statement was that if all electrcity came from coal in a certain area, the source of electrcity would be more efficient than the automobile engine, but coal, which is nearly all carbon, will generate nearly twice the CO2 per kwh than a gasoline engine, which burns hydrogen and carbon. (gasoline is a hydrocarbon). We are assuming 30% efficiency for a gas engine, 42% for a coal fired power plan and 90% for an electric car. The coal fired plant generates nearly twice the greenhouse gasses per hwr and incurs an additiona 5.0-10% line losses to get the power to your car. You keep forgetting that fact, and concentrate on the 90% electric effcicieny vs 35% gasoline efficiency. That’s only part of the story.

A simplied calcualtion would show that 1.05x2C/.9=2.33 units of carbon.vs 1C/.35=2.86 units of carbon, not a great difference. The big advantage, of course, is that the air pollution is now transferred and dispersed to the countryside and not concentrated downtown.

Again, if the electric system was all hydro or nuclear, the CO2 reduction would be close to 100% for an all electric car.

I personally don’t care how much CO2 reduction an electric car saves; it’s the propaganda by environmentalists and misguided government departments that skews the debate.

P.S. Whether a coal fired plant is base loaded or used in the off-peak hours makes no difference in the amount of CO2 generated, but it does make better use of capital.

Don’t forget, the government’s argument is about reducing CO2 to show they care about Global Warming. The economics and common sense usually go out the window when that’s the ony focus. The wind power cost thread supports that.

I think the Volt is an important vehicle to show what’s possible and what does or does no make sense. In addition, it’s a “feel good” vehicle for those who used to drive Volvos. It’s a good learning exercise for GM!!

I am leasing a 2012 Chevy Volt and I can’t wait to lease another when this lease is up. In a year I have put 17,000 miles on it 14,259 are electric. My lifetime MPG is 195. It costs about $1.40/day to charge and gets 35 MPG on generator/gas. It is a full electric vehicle. The generator kicks in when the battery is depleted but DOES NOT drive the wheels, but replenishes the battery(s) which drive the wheels. This is the big difference between the Volt and the Prius. The car is expensive to buy, but I’m leasing mine for $2000 down and $350/month. The money I’m saving in gas purchases certainly pays for the car. I used to drive a 2005 Lincoln LS V8. I was putting $100/week in the tank. It is new technology and the price will drop. I am a 39yr old guy with a wife and 2 kids and the Volt does everything I need it to. Interior space is great. The rear seats fold flat. I fit a 55" LED TV in the box in back with room to spare. The critics are way too harsh on this car. I suspect oil company influence. Think about it, if we don’t NEED gas/oil, how are the big oil companies gonna post BILLION dollar profits and bonuses. Big oil has everything to lose if we wake up and say NO to $5/gallon gas.

Also, I DON’T believe electric cars are the answer to our addiction to oil. It’s a step in the right direction. We need to find something to get off the gas. Electric cars do draw excess power equalling excess pollution. It’s still less pollution than diesel/gas vehicles produce. Science is our only hope and hopefully the solution comes from our great nation. I never want to be seen in a Smart car or Fiat.

GM put the Volt on a Cruze chassis to mitigate the risk of designing a totally new chassis for a car that they had never built before. They had no idea whether the public would buy or lease it, and were willing to build a more expensive car to check it out. The high cost is also one reason why they pushed leasing initially. The next generation will have its own chassis that is more cost effective for integrating batteries, electric motors, and the ICE recharging system. Toyota was able to take advantage of the Prius design and replace the NiMH batteris with Li-Ion units to get just enough mileage on batteries-only (a whopping 18 miles) to call it a plug-in hybrid. I can’t imagine why someone would pay $10,000 to $17,000 more for a plug-in Prius, but some do.

I am collecting Li-Ion batteries to EV my bike.