Even Tesla Is Outselling the Chevy Volt

The Chevy Volt has been on the market for more than two years now, but sales still have yet to live up to expectations. Photo credit: General Motors Co.

It's true: Punchy start-up Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) is already outselling the much-hyped Chevy Volt.

Earlier this month, Tesla said it had exceeded its own first-quarter sales target, delivering "at least 4,750" examples of its all-electric Model S luxury sedan to customers.

Contrast that with General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) , which sold 4,421 of its plug-in hybrid Volts in North America during the first quarter, according to a Bloomberg report. Nissan's (NASDAQOTH: NSANY  ) electric Leaf took third place in the plug-in rankings with 3,695 sales.

That's a great story for Tesla, which is succeeding with its sleek and powerful (and expensive) electric coupe against considerable odds. But what does it say about GM? Is it time for the Volt to be grounded?

A green-car darling that hasn't found a big market
The Volt was supposed to be the new face of post-bailout GM. One of the few major product-development programs that GM kept funding through its own financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, the Volt was the high-tech green darling that, in some minds, was supposed to justify the Obama administration's decision to bail out Detroit's largest automaker.

The Volt's sluggish sales have led to a lot of politically charged hot air since. But beyond the squabbling, the Volt -- which is essentially an electric car with an onboard gas-powered generator to keep it charged -- is a pretty nice product that works as advertised. Every Volt owner I've ever talked to says he or she loves the car, without hesitation. It's well built and lives up to GM's claims.

But it has never sold in the numbers that GM hoped for when it launched the innovative plug-in hybrid late in 2010. GM hoped to sell 10,000 Volts in 2011, its first full year on sale -- but managed to move only 7,671.

At the time, GM officials said they weren't disappointed, that they were still building "awareness" of the Volt's virtues -- and announced a plan to make 45,000 Volts for the U.S. in 2012.

That didn't happen, either. Not even close. In fact, it only took until March for GM to halt the Volt's production line, saying that it was "matching supply to demand." Last year's U.S. Volt sales totaled 23,461 -- a great increase over 2011, but not anywhere near enough to live up to CEO Dan Akerson's hopes for the model.

Volt sales so far are running a bit ahead of last year's pace in the U.S., up 8.4%. That's a decent increase, a little ahead of the overall U.S. market's 6.4% gain through March, but it's not setting the world on fire.

Is it time for GM to pull the Volt's plug?

GM is about to double down on the Volt idea
GM certainly doesn't seem to think so. While rivals such as Ford and Toyota are doubling down on conventional hybrids with added "plug-in" capability, GM is pushing ahead with its electric-car-with-a-generator idea -- and with pure electric cars as well.

The upcoming Cadillac ELR. Photo credit: General Motors Co.

For starters, the Volt is about to get a sleek upscale sibling, the Cadillac ELR luxury coupe, shown above. The ELR is based on the Volt's technology, but with more power and luxury, as you'd expect from a Cadillac. It's due at dealers early next year.

Meanwhile, the Volt itself got some modest upgrades for 2013 -- better batteries that give it slightly improved range, and a few other new features. And there are rumors that more significant upgrades are on the way for next year, though GM hasn't yet announced anything.

The Volt's built-in disadvantage won't change
But none of these changes overcome the Volt's biggest handicap: its cost, or, specifically, its cost relative to comparable gas-powered models. The Volt's current base price is $31,645 -- and that's after a $7,500 federal tax credit. The price is just a function of the Volt's advanced technology (and its expensive batteries). It's not likely to come down by a whole lot anytime soon.

Contrast with the similarly sized Chevy Cruze (also a pretty nice car), which starts at just $17,130. You'll get better mileage with the Volt, but the Cruze's mileage isn't bad. Dealers have to explain why the Volt is worth the big premium. With many shoppers, that's a hard argument to make.

That's a problem Tesla doesn't have. Its dealers can rightly point out that the Model S is a big, powerful luxury sedan that just happens to be electric -- and is priced right in line with similar gas-powered sedans from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

But until GM can find a way to bring the Volt's price down further -- or give it a spectacular upgrade -- slow sales may just be a fact of life for the General's green ride.

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  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:09 AM, 742ks wrote:

    "The Volt was supposed to be the new face of post-bailout GM". Not true at all. The Prius is the undisputed king. The only people saying this statement was GM. Also, in a toxic political environment where a fast food chain can become a symbol of where you stand there will be people who will not buy a more efficient car even if it will save them money in the long run because it would be "unpatriotic".

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:11 AM, VRSEFgold wrote:

    Buyer beware! I know of some who kept the Volt about one week before trading it in. Upon trading, no dealer wanted to take a volt in on trade! Very big financial loss for the buyers and the Taxpayers who pay thousands in every Volt sold.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:12 AM, Marshgre wrote:

    "That's a great story for Tesla, which is succeeding with its sleek and powerful (and expensive) electric coupe against considerable odds. But what does it say about GM? Is it time for the Volt to be grounded?"

    Tesla Model S is a sedan - you said so yourself - in this article.

    Proofreading is just as important as spellcheck.

    The Tesla is outselling other EV's because they have taken full advantage of the EV platform. The others have not. They are also marketing to the wealthy right now (rich people are the ones with the money right?) to fund R&D for less expensive cars for the mass market.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:13 AM, bobthegoodone wrote:

    Unless GM gets serious about the Volt getting more mileage with its battery no one wants it or can afford it

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:15 AM, TMFMarlowe wrote:

    @742ks: So you're saying that a Toyota product is actually the "new face of GM"?

    Please reread the statement you're quoting. I think you've completely misunderstood my point, which had nothing whatsoever to do with Toyota or the Prius or hybrid sales rankings or anything of the sort.

    John Rosevear

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:16 AM, JRColver wrote:

    It's hard not to feel angry about GM. While Toyota and others were making positive steps forward 10 years ago to improve fuel economy and help the planet GM, on the other hand, was taking deliberate backwards. They kept pumping out gas guzzling SUV's saying they were manly, and were publicly criticizing hybrids as geeky. Now we all know they were on the wrong side of history. GM is a negative symbol and that's why their Volt doesn't sell.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:40 AM, Halle22 wrote:

    When Detroit gets real about fuel efficient cars they will finally get a turbo diesel!! My son drives a VW Passat that gets between 45 to 55 mpg. Where is that Cruz diesel that I hear about??

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:41 AM, cohome wrote:

    Well, The Tesla is a $200,000 car with a $120,000 built in rebate - compliment of the taxpayer. The Volt doesnt have as much taxpayer financing built in.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:44 AM, hmsthehood wrote:

    Gm has to produce the Volt.

    It has no choice.

    The Government has set the standards for fuel mileage.

    Every car company has to meet these standards. But the trick is it's not a standard for each and every car.

    But the companies average mileage for every car put together.

    The Volt helps GM meet those requirements.

    GM may and investors may cry frustrated because they aren't selling more then 4,200. But in the good old days Chrylser Charger 1969 in order to make Nascar happy produced a street version of the Charger only 400 were ever made and that was just so they could race the cars.

    The Volt is what they would consider a loss leader.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:44 AM, cohome wrote:

    Feel angry at GM? The 305 HP Camaro gets 31MPG not too bad. As for thier SUV's thats what the consumer demanded. And by the way, a 6,500 lb Suburban that gets 18MPG is really pretty good. I remember when my 67 VW bug got 25 and we thought that was awsome

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 11:08 AM, ccbecker wrote:

    Last year, the Volt sold as many units as the median car for sale in the US. It outsold the Corvette, the A6, most diesels,... Do you consider those cars a failure?

    You say that the Volt is overpriced ($299/month to lease - less $50 gas savings) but the people who paid that price also were the ones that said they would do it again. In the recent Consumer Reports satisfaction survey the VOLT topped the list for the second year in a row. No other car has as satisfied customers!

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 11:08 AM, ccbecker wrote:

    Comparing the Volt to the Cruze is non-sense. They feel completely different to drive and have different build quality. The Volt has the same torque as the entry level 3-series BMW.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 11:26 AM, DM120 wrote:

    Leased a Volt and love it. Inexpensive lease, check it out before you get hung up on the price, the lease was the way better option. GM fixed a couple glitches no questions asked, no cost, great customer service. When on gas the Volt got upper 40 MPG when we took a trip. Lots of pep and it is on the Monte Carlo frame, so that is what to compare it with. The way we use it we get gas once every other month. On time of use, we are paying 4.5cents for fuel. With lease GM takes the risk on new technology. I feel we got the best economic electric car deal out there and our cost per mile driven is lower than any car deal period. Do the math if cost per mile matters to you.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 11:58 AM, LasPaled wrote:

    I'm a happy Volt owner. I was in the market for an Audi or a Volvo when I got it and out of the cars I test drove the Volt was the top performer. Leasing made the most sense and it's been a fun car to own. After a year of driving I am averaging over 156 MPG which includes a few road trips. In town commuting rarely goes over 40 miles so that is almost 100% electric.

    Being so satisfied with the car and aware of my driving style I traded my Mini Cooper S in for a lease of a Nissan Leaf which will be a daily commuter for me and then I gave my wife the Volt for her day to day driving which is a little less than mine.

    For those of you upset about "Government Motors" bailout and subsidies that EV's are getting I challenge you to not put any subsidised fuel into your ICE to get around this week...

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 12:12 PM, Demtrek wrote:

    Volt is a money pit. It is true about trading one in, no one wants it. Other Hybrid cars hold thier value much stonger then most cars on the road. Its also very easy to sell a Prius or Honda Hybrid on your own and make a few bucks more then trading it in. Selling 12,000 a year is peanuts compaired to Toyota's Hybrid selection. Talking about leasing a Volt is insane and you failed to mention the required down payment to get to 299 a month.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 12:31 PM, btc909 wrote:

    Mark Christoper, Ontario CA - $177 a month plus taxes with $2199 down plus taxes. 12K miles per year. These are the 40K base models in the colors red, blue, black, white that others dealers couldn't sell. You know Obama Motors is taking a huge loss on these. The biggest mistake was basing this on a Cruze. If you are anywhere close to 6Ft. tall it's like squeezing into a coffin & the back seats (only 2) is even worse. But the gas saving are fantastic, Obama just put the drivetrain in the wrong platform & chickened out on the styling.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 12:38 PM, ramkobe wrote:

    Toyota used to sell 5,000 Prius a year.... should they have pulled the plug too????? OF course not, they sold 230,000 just last year alone!

    Volt will eventually catch on once the price drops and the battery range goes up.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 1:03 PM, bobs4563 wrote:

    I have now had my Volt for a little over a year now and I am averaging about 175 mpg. I love the car. It is by far the best car I have ever owned. I also own a Prius and when placed side by side the Volt wins hands down. I plan to dump my Prius and get another Volt. The car is well built, gives a great ride, great on gas, and also has the cool factor as well. Anyone that thinks this is not something really special is someone that has not driven it. The Volt is a great car so don't let everyone fool you.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 1:09 PM, consAREidiots wrote:

    I'll never understand how a discussion of price ONLY includes the base cost.

    At least the author mentions you'll save money on gas, but why not do some basic calculations?

    For short range use, the savings are not zero. For instance, charging the volt's battery costs about $1.50.

    The battery goes what, 25 miles?

    Volt, driving 25 miles per day at a cost of $1.50

    vs

    25mpg car costs $4 (whatever the price of gas is)

    vs

    50mpg car costs $2 (half the price of gas)

    After 20 work days the volt saves $50 over the 25 mpg car. Approx $600 / year.

    After 20 work days the volt saves $10 over the 50 mpg car. Approx $120 / year.

    I'd consider leasing one, if I'd save money with my driving pattern.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 1:42 PM, 4realman wrote:

    Who are all these Fox News morons that know nothing about the Volt other than what they've heard on all their right-wing media platforms?

    The Volt development started before Obama was even running for president. George Bush signed the law for the $7500 tax incentive in 2007 (again, BEFORE Obama was president).

    The Chevy Cruze doesn't compare to the Volt. I have one of each so I know. I'm not simply repeating garbage I've heard on Fox or from Glenn Beck. I've driven my Volt for 11,500 miles on just 75 gallons of gas. And before anyone starts going off on the electricity thing, I have solar panels that produce as much as the car will use in a year every 4 months.

    And to correct this article, the Volt remains ahead of the Prius at this point after release. So, to make the argument that the Volt should be shelved is just ignorant.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 2:15 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    Sooooooooo........

    The Very High Cost Telsa out sells the high cost Volt by 329 units, but the Volt out sells the Leaf by 726 units, yet you ask if it's time to pull the plug on the Volt?? Really?? Who's lining your pockets John Rosevear??

    FACT CHECK:

    It was the Bush administration that started the bailouts of the auto makers, and not just GM.

    "an electric car with an onboard gas-powered generator to keep it charged"

    WRONG! The generator is not used to keep it charged. It generates the power that is sent to the motor. Sometimes some residual power is added to the battery in Gas mode but most of the power returned to the battery in gas mode comes from the regenerative braking.

    Sales go from 7,671 the first year to 23,461 the second, more than tripling, but because they didn't sell what GM hoped to, it's a failure and they need to "pull the plug"????

    Yes the Volt is expensive, just like the ground breaking 787 is. As more are built, the cost will be spread out. GM is already using it on the ELR like you mentioned. (FWIW, I'm a Ford fan myself but the Volt blew me away)

    We conned the Chevy dealership into letting us have a Volt for the weekend, Saturday to Monday. My intent was to have fun with it while we drove it around shopping for a used Focus or Cruze. My wife drove it for less than a minute before she was amazed by the Volt. After test driving some other cars at CarMax, we went home and she started crunching the numbers. We figure we'll break even with the Volt over a Cruze or Focus in 3-4 years. In the meantime, we get to drive the quietest (even in gas mode), smoothest, agile and funnest car we have ever driven. The ONLY thing we dont like is the four seats instead of five but love the car so much we accept it.

    I'd be willing to bet you have never driven a Volt. There is a saying about the Volt: "Drive it for an hour and you'll love it. Drive it for a weekend and you wont want to give it back" That's exactly what happened to this Ford guy. It only took a minute to convert my wife who was dead set against it. It's that amazing. We buy used and drive our cars into the ground. They are just a tool and a depreciating asset. Yet this car impressed us so much we bought new. Paid cash too. (We drove our Ford for 17 years and saved the cash up for this, and then some)

    Lastly, since you want to compare the Volt to the uber-luxury Tesla, consider this. The top cars traded in for a Volt are the Prius, Camry, Civic, and...........drumroll please.........THE BMW 3 SERIES!! I personally know people who have owned two Priuses and traded them in for Volts. The Volt made them hate the Prius. I've also know people who have traded in their Acuras and Lexuses for a Volt. This leads me to believe that when Caddy comes out with the ELR, the "I'd never buy a Chevy" snobs will come out of the woodwork and start snapping up the ELR.

    Do they actually pay you to write this stuff or is someone else buttering your bread???

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 2:22 PM, mkelly85 wrote:

    Thanks for reminding us how similar Bush and 0bama really are.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 2:24 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    I forgot to mention. For all of the people complaining that it "Only" goes 40 miles on a charge, let me enlighten you.

    Officially, it's rated at 38 miles per charge, but it varies from 25 to 50. The car does a great job of predicting what you'll get based on previous patterns and outside temperature. It's almost spooky how it knows.

    GM has determined and verified through the use of OnStar, that 80% of most peoples driving is done within that range. If you need to go further, the Gas Generator is there so you wont have to deal with range anxiety.

    For those saying they think it should go 200-300 miles, answer me this. Why should you haul around a big heavy battery ALL the time to OCCASIONALLY go that distance, when instead you can haul around a lighter backup system to use when you do go on long trips??? Which is more efficient???

    For what it's worth, we are driving it from Illinois to Florida this summer, all gas mode, 40mpg hwy. That beats the 14 mpg we got last year in the loud and bumpy Expedition.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 2:50 PM, stevema1 wrote:

    gm (government motors) expected the volt to sell but when you have a car that bursts into flames and is just a piece of sh*t. I know just because ovomit gave the company to the unions I will never buy anything from gm

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 3:12 PM, sliderw wrote:

    The Volt's problem is it's a mass-market-branded car selling at a premium price.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 3:23 PM, ramkobe wrote:

    These Republican idiots want Volt to fail so they can pin it on Obama even though it was Bush who bailed out GM first. But it would take a lot to be as awful as Bush.

    Solyndra was Bush's pet project also as he tried to fast track a loan just prior to getting kicked out of office. But they blame Obama of course.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 4:51 PM, kapper692 wrote:

    for the commenter about the Tesla being a $200,000 car, where did you hear that? I have read many articles from many sources and nothing has ever been said about it being a 200,000 car. Or that they are subsidized by the taxpayer. Tesla sales for $65,000 to $120,000 depending on the battery that can go up to 270 miles on a single charge. expensive but a true viable electric car.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 5:03 PM, rocket7777 wrote:

    Other than slight novelty, volt does not make any sense.

    It probably saves only like $400 per year on gas vs economy car and volt looks like an economy car. Economically, good choice would be by a normal car and sell and buy a electric when technology improves in few years and price come down.

    And saves even less vs hybrid and some hybrids are nice looking.

    Cadillac make better sense since cost of battery will be less portion of price.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 5:05 PM, TruePp wrote:

    Where the heck you got a silly idea that Tesla Model S is a coupe???

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 5:31 PM, bobbleheadguru wrote:

    Some facts have been twisted to fit the talking points in this article:

    1. The Chevy Volt launched nationally on 11.01.2011. Before that, the car was offered only in SIX states.

    The author claims its first full year was 2011. No, its first full year was 2012, when it generated over $1,000,000,000 (nine zeros, no typo) in revenue. That is much higher than Prius year one. Prius is now the #3 selling car worldwide... that is not a bad template to follow.

    2. Has the author been in a Cruze and Volt? They do not have the same dimensions and are not the same body type. The Volt is much more upscale (compare to BMW 3 series), it is much quieter, has more instant torque, has 2 analytics displays, one of which is touchscreen... the Cruze has yestertech green screen leds.

    Comparing a Volt to a Cruze is like comparing a Macbook Air to a $299 Netbook. They may be the same size, but there are completely different value propositions.

    3. The author points to $31,645 as being a high price. But what is the average price of cars today? A: About $30-32K. So the Volt is AVERAGE in price.

    I save over $170/month in my Volt including electricity costs... which completely offsets my higher payment. My breakeven is ZERO years, ZERO months.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 5:34 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    Stevema1,

    Would you care to tell us about "a car that bursts into flames"???

    The only known fire in a Volt to date is the one that started 3 WEEKS after it was crash tested and the Gubbamint didn't follow protocol and drain the battery after the test, just as they do with that Fuel-Air bomb filled with gas that you drive. To make it even more laughable, if they hadn't stored it upside down, the fluid wouldn't have leaked and caused the fire.

    But I'm sure you are content to parrot O'Reily and Dobbs (two guys I used to trust until I saw their bit on the Volt that was just plain wrong).

    For what it's worth, I'm not the liberal tree hugger you would probably simplistically like to label me.

    Instead, I'm a Desert Storm vet that saw people killed in a place we wouldn't have been if they didn't have oil, NRA member since 1999, and have voted Republican my whole life (even though many of them I had to hold my nose when I voted for them).

    Drive the car, then have your wife try it too (if you are not living in your mommys basement lusting after the Fox News Girls). Then let me know how long it takes for her to be clamoring for the car alongside you.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 5:40 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    Read this if you really really really believe that the Volt catches fire. Even the author was corrected and acknowledged that only one in testing caught fire.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2012/01/05/theres-no...

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 5:42 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    For those of you who follow Fox et al like I used too. (I still love the WSJ even though that Murdoch gut bought them)

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/boblutz/2012/03/19/i-give-up-on-...

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 5:51 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    For those of you who think the Volt loses "X" amount of dollars per car.

    CAUTION! This may be to complicated for some people. It's easier to let someone else tell you what to think.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/boblutz/2012/09/10/the-real-stor...

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 9:31 PM, PeteP1 wrote:

    The Volt critics seem to have no problem with Republican governors of Southern states providing Japanese and German carmakers with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks, grants and incentives to locate assembly plants in their states. Give me a break. The Volt is an American car made in Detroit. If you are a true patriot, you would root for this car to succeed. Every one sold creates American jobs and helps lessen the amount of American Dollars flowing into the hands of Bush's Saudi friends (remember, they are the ones who supplied 17 of the 19 9/11 terrorists).

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 9:53 PM, gsned57 wrote:

    I rarely ever see 34 comments on a gm article on the fool. Based on the comments it seems 75% of them are from owners that love their volt enough to defend it and take the time to write a comment about it. The other folks seem to have never driven one and are blindly politically motivated. No wonder why it had the highest customer satisfaction of any car sold two years running.

    I'm rooting for tesla and the volt. I didn't agree with the bailout but that is over and done. Where we are today is America has a product we can buy that is American made and mostly American fueled. Untill we are energy independent this car and teslas products are the most patriotic products Americans can buy

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:34 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    gsned57,

    That was so well put. Yes, I am a Volt Owner. Yes it's personal to me, having been sent to Saudi as a Mercenary for Mobil Oil and Friends for Desert Storm. Then throw in the fact that our friends the Saudis gave birth to those hijackers that used my employers jets after they slaughtered my fellow pilots. It's VERY personal.

    But it means so much more to me for all of your stated reasons of patriotism.

    What amazes me about the Volt and electric cars in general, is the blatant disregard for facts that surround it. Then throw in the irony like you pointed out about Republican Governors of Southern states giving it all away to foreign car companies.

    I get more conservative as I get older (and my two daughters get closer to high school) so I tend to lean conservative. By I always lean towards fact. When I see the horribly inaccurate "reporting" about the Volt from what I thought was the "Fair and Balanced" Network, I find myself questioning everything else they "report" on subjects of which I know nothing about so therefore trust them to educate me on.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2013, at 3:18 AM, Joncab5 wrote:

    I am a Volt owner (lease) for 7months so far. I have 6,000 miles on it and have not yet been to a gas station. My range is about 44 mikes as I use Eco AC. I am currently at 934MPG. Yes that is correct. I live this car.

    I have owned Lexus, MBZ, Toyota, Porsche, and my Volt is the best car I have ever owned. I have the special electric rate & I receive a very low rate in the middle of the night so my ownership cost is very little. My electric bill went up $25 a month. Big deal. The lease made sense for me.

    It is so well designed and made I can't be it is a Detroit Chevrolet product. I have already sold 3 to people/friends because of my bragging rights and i let them drive it. Plus I feel great not going to gas stations. The power is great.

    I am not liberal. I don't own Birkenstocks. I don't work for GM and I actually am a Ford stockholder. Go Volt!

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2013, at 12:01 PM, SinicaLass wrote:

    The Volt does not sell well because it's a mediocre vehicle. When running on gas it gets less that 40 mpg. Compare that to Prius at 50 or even Ford Fusion at 47. It turns out the American car buyers are not the dumb sheep who do what GM tells them after all.....

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2013, at 1:44 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    Obviously it is too complicated for SinicaLass to comprehend. Yet he throws out the word "dumb" in his post.

    It is rated at 38 miles per charge. (Actually gets 25-50) When that charge is depleted, it switches to gas if you need to go farther. 80% of most peoples daily driving needs are met by the 38 mile range. I'm more than happy to get 40mpg using gas when the charge runs out, especially since I so rarely have to use gas at all.

    I'll gladly take 25-50 miles of pure electric range before I have to use gas then 40 mpg after that over a Prius or Fusion that ALWAYS burns gas at your 50 and 47 mpg numbers. The goal is to use as little gas as possible. I'll guarantee you that I'd use way less gas with a Volt than any other Plug-in Hybrid.

    As a Desert Storm Veteran, that warms my heart. The rest of you can keep on bending over in front of the Saudis. Just make sure after you bow before them like Obowma does, you turn around and grab your ankles so the sheik can finnish the job.

    Feel free to email me at danmanusos@yahoo.com if you need any other misconceptions, ignorance, or just plain stupidity treated.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2013, at 1:52 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    SinicaLass,

    I just reread your post and have to ask, how far can the Fusion or the Prius go before it has to use ANY gas at all?

    I think the Plug-in Fusion is 21 but those numbers have been discovered to be way too optimistic.

    The Plug-in Prius is even worse. 6 miles!!

    This may be some fun for you to read but I'm sure you'll ignore it. It compares the Volt to the Prius and the C-max (not the Fusion but interesting reading anyway)

    http://cleantechnica.com/2013/02/04/chevy-volt-versus-prius-...

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2013, at 1:56 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    My question to the author of this article.

    How are are you compensated and by who to write this article? Do they deduct from your pay when you are discovered to be wholly inaccurate?

    I've read that new organizations get paid by headlines that generate the most clicks, therefore the Headlines such as yours. Was that your intent?

    Feel free to post a response here and to my aforementioned email address. In the future my I suggest you ask for some proofreading from people who know more about this subject than you do so that you can be considered a reliable and competent journalist.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2013, at 4:27 PM, EMTresponder wrote:

    I am a Veteran who once fought for the oil companies. I own a Volt and have filled up 5 times since October 2012. I fill up every night in my garage. I drive electric 98% of the time and use the gas engine 2%.

    No Servicemen are placed in harms way for me to commute back and forth to work due to oil addiction.

    The federal funds given to GM to research alternative energy technology makes more sense then money spent deploying troops. Addiction to oil is influencing foreign policy and costs us Billions.

    Electricity prices do not change every day, i get a 30% discount on electricity rates for charging after midnight.

    Zero emissions.

    I have no transmission to break and 100% of available torque from a stranding stop.

    The electric engine needs no oil, no belts, no filters, no tune ups, no spark plugs, no radiator, no pistons to warp or gaskets to change.

    The sales of ALL electric cars are growing steadily. General Motors sold three times as many Chevrolet Volts in 2012 as it did in 2011, which was the car's first full year on the market. GM sold 23,461 Volts in 2012 compared with just 7,671 in 2011.

    GM sold just 14,000 Corvettes last YEAR, should they discontinue the Corvette?

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2013, at 8:10 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    EMT,

    Awesome summary. You think we will ever hear from the author of this article??

    I'm not holding my breath..........

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2013, at 8:44 PM, EMTresponder wrote:

    No the author is too busy having another refill of Kool-Aid served up by Rush and Ann Coulter. But I do wish the author would ask Chevy for a loaner and drive then report. But keep it for two weeks to discover all the hidden perks associated with the technology on board the car.

    You know, the financials motivated me to lease the Volt. I was not considering an electric car. I saw an ad for a $399 a month lease. I was spending $200 a month on gas..so I thought the net lease cost would be reduced by $200 less, the cost of gas, a month since my daily commute is 42 miles, I could drive electric to work and back. I had to add the increased electric cost, but I knew electric rates are very stable and was even able to get a deep discount if I charged after midnight. My electric bill went up $45 a month so it costs me $1.50 to drive 42 miles a day.

    After driving the car for two weeks.....you just start to chuckle each time you pass a gas station. Then, if you live in CA the state gives you a check for $1500 and a sticker to drive in the HOV lane by yourself. If you are familier with the movie The Matrix, Its comparable to when Neo wakes up inside the egg and discovers a new world because the Matrix (Fox News) was blinding him to the true facts.

    The car is rewarding on so many levels. All Americans need to root for this car.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2013, at 10:53 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    I just met yet another ecstatic Volt owner in the parking lot at my daughters track meet. Just before that I gave a neighbor who was there a test ride in it.

    Try as I may, I can't find anybody who has experienced the car who doesn't love it and want one or even another to go along with the first one.

  • Report this Comment On April 29, 2013, at 10:54 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    Still waiting to hear from the author of this article.........................

    Has he ever test driven the car and educated himself about it???

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2013, at 10:11 AM, sj4 wrote:

    John, In your video about GM on this site you state than GM will not survive if it just 'goes along, to get along.' I'm just curious as to how you reconcile that comment with suggesting GM 'pull the plug' on its most technologically advanced car?

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2013, at 11:18 AM, EMTresponder wrote:

    Not even a fair comparison in so many ways. Electric cars are a maturing market. 2011 and 2013. Demand is growing. Also, even though both cars are electric, Tesla is offering a performance car, where the Volt is utilitarian and designed as a commuter car to run on electric and handle the average daily commute of 40 miles. Different markets, different demand.

    However by buying either one you do not support regimes that harbor terrorists. Be a true Patriot and do not put US Servicemen in harms way by buying gas. Think about that next time you fill up with gasoline. Both cars made in USA and propelled by USA based electric grids.

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2013, at 12:31 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    Yet another excellent point. I'd love to drive a Tesla, but I also want to retire someday. The Tesla is high end luxury that is nice but I don't need.

    I certain there is a limited amount of people out there who are willing to pay that kind of money for that kind of car. Once you run out of ultra high net worth people who can buy that car, as great as it is, then who you going to sell it to? In the meantime, the Volt and it's follow on cousins will keep selling.

    So to ask if GM should pull the plug because the Tesla outsold it............really John??? Really???

    To compare the sales of the lower cost, pure electric, utilitarian Leaf to the high cost, pure electric, luxury sport Telsa is just as illogical. As much as the Leaf does not appeal to me, I hope that Nissan doesn't get worried and start think like Mr. Rosevear.

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2013, at 4:45 PM, zapmycar wrote:

    I think I would be interested in buying the Volt but can't really justify the price that well. The batteries I think are the main reason the price is as high as it is. The battery is still the weak link with high cost and charging capacity needing to be enhanced yet. They will continue to push forward with the research to make it better. :)

  • Report this Comment On April 30, 2013, at 5:03 PM, DanManusos wrote:

    Zap,

    We couldn't justify it either until we did a spread sheet. We were going to buy a Cruze and we calculated that we'd break even in no more than 3-4 years over the Cruze we were going to buy.

    We get to drive an awesome car in the meantime until we break even and, more importantly, we are not sending our money to the Terrorist supporting Saudis.

  • Report this Comment On May 03, 2013, at 7:13 AM, TMFMarlowe wrote:

    Wow, this discussion got out of hand. I'm sorry I didn't jump in earlier.

    @DanManusos and @EMTResponder, I'm glad you like your Volts. I like it too (yes, I've driven one.) I'd take one over a Prius (or a Cruze) any day.

    As a GM shareholder, I say thank you for your purchases.

    But you need to understand this: Whether I like the Volt as a car or not doesn't actually matter.

    Read that again. Whether I like the Volt as a car or not doesn't actually matter.

    It's not my job to cheerlead for specific vehicles or vehicle programs. It's not what we do here. This isn't Autoblog.

    It's my job to look at GM and the other automakers as businesses, as investments. And from a business perspective, the Volt program is a far more complicated question than whether the Volt itself is a nice car.

    The Volt program was a big investment, one that GM arguably couldn't really afford at the time. It was sold internally on (among other things) a set of sales assumptions. And because of the timing, and the complicated politics around GM's bailout, some of that selling happened externally as well, and was tied up with selling the bailout itself to the American public.

    Now, we're in 2013 and the Volt has so far not come close to meeting those sales expectations. That's worthy of some exploration.

    And it's worth pondering whether GM should continue to invest in this alternative technology at a moment when key competitors like Toyota and Ford are pushing into conventional plug-in hybrids.

    None of this is about knocking the car itself.

    And really, it doesn't matter what we say here: GM is pushing forward with the Volt program, at least in the near term. It's a done deal.

    I'm looking forward to driving the ELR, and I'm curious about what will come next.

    To be clear, I am not calling for GM to kill the Volt. As a car guy, I would be sad if the Volt program ended. But as an investor, it's a harder question. It needs to be poked at. That's what this article was about.

    And if it wasn't obvious, I will state clearly that I am not being paid by anyone except The Motley Fool, and the Fool doesn't tell me what views to take on the stocks I cover.

    Questions? Ask 'em.

    John Rosevear

  • Report this Comment On May 04, 2013, at 9:26 AM, TMFMarlowe wrote:

    Further thoughts here, for anyone who is still following this discussion, such as it is:

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/05/04/should-gm-k...

    John Rosevear

  • Report this Comment On July 12, 2013, at 4:54 PM, moorienz wrote:

    So this is a misinformation site for conservative politics? The Chevy Volt outshines every car out there for mileage and cost for your money the only thing unpatriotic is buying foreign oil instead of supporting American homegrown industry. The Volt Gets 98 Mpg the prius 95 The volt utilizes gas and electric with smooth transition is comparable to a BMW in comfort and design, is quiet and many people who commute daily say they have not had to go to the gas station for months at a time ....what's un-american about that?

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