GM President: Demand for Chevy Volt Is Still Unknown

By · October 10, 2011

Pelosi, Reuss and Chevy Volt

Former US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi plugs in the Chevrolet Volt while General Motors President Mark Reuss (right) looks on, at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

General Motors touts the great fuel efficiency of models such as its 40-mpg Chevy Cruze and its eAssist light electrification system. In tough economic times such as these, do those models take sales away from the Chevy Volt? I put that question to Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, at a press breakfast last week in Los Angeles.

“I can’t tell you,” said Reuss, adding “I won’t disagree with your analysis” that people are buying fuel-efficient internal combustion engine cars rather than the more expensive Volt.

GM isn’t sure right now what exact demand for the Volt is, Reuss said. “Right around (the second or third quarter) of next year, we will actually know what the demand for Volt is.”

In any case, the Volt has been a great marketing tool for other Chevy model, said Reuss. “We sell Chevy cars because of the Volt,” he said. “I don’t know what freestanding demand [for the Volt] is right now,” he said. “All I know is the car is very popular and there is a lot of good stuff written about it. It helps Chevrolet as a brand.”

Reuss said the Volt was a great vehicle to draw customers into dealerships, and that many ended up buying models such as the fuel-efficient Chevy Cruze instead.

Volt availability will improve during the remainder of this year, which should boost sales numbers for the electric vehicle, said Reuss. Deliveries slowed dramatically in recent months because the Detroit-Hamtramck plant that produces the Volt was shut down for four weeks in June for retooling to boost capacity.

4,000 Volt Sales in October?

Hamtramck Volt Production

With retooling of its Hamtramck plant completed, GM expects major increases in Volt sales in the coming months and years.

GM delivered 700 Volts last month—its best month yet, said Reuss. "So our availability of the Volt this month will be close to 4,000 units," he said.
Roll out of the 2011 Volt was limited to California, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. It will be available nationwide by the end of this year, GM said.
Production capacity at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant this year will be 16,000 units, according to GM. The plant also produces the Ampera, the European version of the Volt. In 2012, global production capacity is expected to be 60,000 vehicles with 45,000 delivered in the U.S.

Volt sales have been lackluster since its launch in late November 2010. But GM is optimistic about the future of electric vehicles. Reuss said demand does justify producing an entire portfolio of electric cars. Indeed, GM has a range of electric-drive cars that includes a variety of hybrids, he pointed out.
“We already have battery technology that can be put into high volume production,” said Reuss.

Even if there isn’t huge demand for the vehicles, said Reuss, “I’m not sure it matters. As an industry, we have to keep making cars that people feel good about driving from an emissions and fuel economy standpoint. I like to feel good about that. I bought a Volt for my kids. I put two gallons of gas in that thing since last January and it has been driven about 4,000 miles.”

Comments

· · 3 years ago

"the Volt has been a great marketing tool for other Chevy model, said Reuss"
Hmm, IIRC, this is exactly what Bob Lutz kept saying was the only thing that hybrid drivetrains are good for. It isn't surprising then that, as a good GM corporate wonk, he is working his hardest to prove the party line to be correct.
Note how he blames the delivery of only "700 volts last month" on the Volt, not on the fact that GM only built 700 of the vehicles.
Let's see how the 4,000 ones to be delivered this month go compared to the pure ICE vehicles which come with 0% down financing and huge rebates.

· Brian W (not verified) · 3 years ago

@ex-EV1 driver I agree with you. I believe if they build them they are sold, just as long as dealers are not placing premiums on them. I also believe that GM is holding back on the Volt's production because of the profit margin. GM makes more profit on Cruze than on the Volt. I was at a dealer not expecting the Volt until December 2011, so to drive the dealership sales the salesman was pushing the Cruze to the customer as comparable to the Volt, and a lot cheaper. When I heard this at the dealership I stepped in and I explained that the Cruze over a 5 year time frame costs the same as the Volt (oil changes, fuel, other maintenance, and the $7500 tax credit). Than after the 5 years the Volt pay the owner back where the Cruze still incurs an expense.
It is hard to sell a vehicle if its not in the showroom and there is not a complete 100% commitment from the dealers. This situation I saw made me believe that this dealer was not fully committed to the Volt or a least this salesman.

· Henrik2 (not verified) · 3 years ago

The Volt already sells more than any of the hybrids that GM is selling. Can GM sell 3000 Volts in October it will sell more than any hybrid in the US apart from the Prius. When the Prius was introduced I believe it used three years to get to 35000 per year and the Volt will likely only use two years to do that. Also I expect GM to keep making better versions of the Volt so it can attract a larger audience. We still need to see flex fuel e85 capability and it should also be able to fast charge at 50kW so that an alternative to gas is a 7 minutes quick charge for 35 miles more on electricity.

http://www.hybridcars.com/hybrid-clean-diesel-sales-dashboard/september-...

· · 3 years ago

@Henrik2
"Also I expect GM to keep making better versions of the Volt so it can attract a larger audience.
I'll believe this only when I see it.
I'll counter with my expectation: GM, after demonstrating Cruze eco sales of 10X that of the Volt, will announce to the world that, while they tried hard, there really turned out to be no market for the Volt. They will terminate the product line in favor of the 'more affordable cars that the public really wants'.
I also won't hold my breath waiting for GM to offer charging above 1.5 kW or offering any larger battery, or performance options for the Volt either.
Let's just hope that Nissan and Tesla's successes will continue to drag GM, kicking and screaming, into the future.

· · 3 years ago

I'm starting to get a queasy feeling about the Volt. I understand and want to believe that it's an issue with supply, not demand. But my radar is up. Would you really shut down the line if demand was so high? How much difference is there between MY2011 and MY2012 for the Volt? They said they shut down the line to scale up and then they didn't scale up. Also there was a guy who called into Autoline Openline last week who says he live next to the Volt battery plant and he doesn't see hardly any employee cars in the parking lot.

· · 3 years ago

GM is running ads for the Volt, so maybe they will generate sales, if sales are really below production capacity.

· · 3 years ago

It's as if they created the Volt just to prove they didn't kill the electric car, and that no one wanted it in the first place. GM is such a dinosaur, they rather protect the status quo and prove they're "right" than really make money owning the game changer. The government should have never wasted our money bailing them out, as they shouldn't bail out anyone, that's what bankruptcy court is for. And then the government sticks it to the GM bondholders in the process, how are markets supposed to function with that kind of uncertainty.

Tesla and Nissan are doing just fine bringing electric cars to market.

GM, prove me wrong and make me a 4wd plug-in hybrid. Already got my Leaf for daily commuting. Next will be a road-trip worthy plug-in.

· Lad (not verified) · 3 years ago

GM could care less about any of the issues solved by building EVs, i.e., bad air, home-grown jobs, foreign oil usage, etc. They are pawns of Big Oil and always will be. If they were not so tied to the politics and ideas of the Republican Party, they would have thousands of EVs on the road right now. The whole company is a totally political mash up.

· · 3 years ago

I understand people's ill-will toward GM, an ill-will so deep and well-founded that it encourages conspiracy theories. But when I read this article, I don't see any indication that these theories are at all warranted. GM shut down it's plant to retool to increase capacity toward the goal of producing 60,000 cars a year, 25% slated for export. The US exporting cars. Imagine. The President of GM refers to the car as being popular and justifies "producing an entire portfolio of electric cars. " This is backed by the decision to go into production of the Cadillac ELR, based on the Converj hybrid, a luxury variant of the Volt. This car will be available in two years.
Further, I would much rather the Volt selling 45,000 a year and producing a halo effect that sells things like the Cruze than some souped up 500hp version of the Corvette producing a halo effect to sell cheaper 2 seater muscle cars.
The Volt is a good product which will only get better and as it begins to make it's way into all 50 states and infrastructure develops to support it, i think it's eventual popularity may be quite understated.

· theflew (not verified) · 3 years ago

@indyflick & ex-EV1 driver,

In September GM built over 4000 Volts. Just because you build them doesn't mean they are instantly available for sales, especially because most of the sales at this time are on the coast which take a couple of weeks to reach. On gm-volt site people have VIN's in the 5000's being assigned.

Either way the next few months will be interesting months for Volt sales.

· theflew (not verified) · 3 years ago

@Soapy Johnson,

Given I never heard of this race before outside your posting all over the web about it. I think the reason it was cancelled was that nobody cared about the race and GM wasn't going to fund it. Also note Volt sales have been increasing since July since the plant reopened.

· · 3 years ago

@theflew,
I hope you're optimism is right and I'm wrong. But I've been to this rodeo with GM before.

· · 3 years ago

@Jose G. You watch way too much Fox and friends.

· · 3 years ago

@TrasKY

We've been through this on other threads.
But for the record, I'm not Republican, I'm Libertarian. Some big differences:
Libertarians don't mix religion and politics.
Libertarians believe in a defense only military, NOT in being the world police.
Libertarians want to end the war on drugs which does more harm than good.

· · 3 years ago

As an optimist, I can't help but hope that GM will see the light as every single Volt they make is sold. Which will be the case as long as it's produced in limited quantities. Of course they don't know the demand yet, they haven't made enough to meet it.

As far as the Volt 400 race, that is just ridiculous. The Volt is a plug-in hybrid, not a pure ev, and should be raced as such. If you race without gas, it's only going to be a Volt "20". You'd be far better off using Tesla Roadsters for a Pure Electric race, the "Tesla 150." In any case, I wouldn't suggest having a race that's more than ~half the advertised range.

· Fred (not verified) · 3 years ago

Wow you guys really think of a way to steer up crap!! The Volt is a techno wonder!! If you haven't driven one then go to your dealer they have a Demo ready for use!! I live about 25 miles away from work and I would love to own one and I bet all of my friends would too but we can't afford it or lets say our credit is not strong enough for it. This is the future and I will have a electified car in my driveway soon!! Why would anyone want to gas up if they don't have to..Trucks are a different story but the Volt has made a mark that very few or no Car manufacturer can beat or compare!! No Diesel , No Prius , No Hybrid !!! Volt is # one and will be that way for a long time !! Volt is the future and im sorry that it wasn't a import that came up with it first!! Now wait till they add a Diesel Generator and you shall see a second generation Volt come around !! They are playing the Game like Apple thats all ... Volt is a must own and I hope that every American will have something Electric in their driveway soon!! Hope they come up with a purchase plan for people that really want to buy it!! Lets face it its not the rich that want it its the middle class that want it!! Lease sounds good but why lease when this car should be in ones family for at least 5+ years!!!

· · 3 years ago

@Fred,
While I definitely appreciate your enthusiasm, you must realize that GM has destroyed a lot of electric vehicles already, against the will of their 'owners' (actually leasees). They also screwed up the drivetrain of the Volt, making it a lot more expensive than it had to be in order to guarantee that it would always have an internal combustion engine. They also made it take Premium gas to make it even more expensive.
Keep the faith regarding and electric car but don't place too much faith in GM.

· · 3 years ago

------------
"So our availability of the Volt this month will be close to 4,000 units," he said.
------------

So, if Volt sells much less than 4,000 this month (Oct) - we know they have a demand problem, right ?

· · 3 years ago

Right!

· · 3 years ago

I would be surprised if they can't sell 4,000 ... that is if they actually make 4,000. The longer it takes them to ramp up, the more competition they'll face. It looks like things will finally get interesting in the next few years with more plug-ins to choose from.

· william edwards (not verified) · 3 years ago

"Volt sales have been lackluster since its launch in late November 2010."

Really? Did the author even go look at GM's web site to see how many states will even take an order? Look at the articles written by journalists in states where sales launched a year ago where they interview a dealer who has a list of persons waiting for a Volt? Yes, the Volt is a LOT of money, but until the vehicle is actually available for sale and dealers receive them you cannot say that sales are lackluster...production is lackluster. Kinda of like saying Prius sales are lackluster over the Summer...duh, limited cars = limited sales.

· · 3 years ago

Chevrolet to debut all-electric Spark mini-car starting in 2013:

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/Chevrolet-debut-electric-capress-498133...

· · 3 years ago

Re: Chevy Spark. Limited numbers, primarily in California, make this car look like a pure play to meet CARB regulations and nothing more. I hope that it is successful and leads to greater sales and additional pure EV models from GM but, for now, I am skeptical.

· · 3 years ago

For GM, the Spark sounds like the perfect EV:
Small
Impractical
Slow
Weak
Ugly
Expensive (anything where only 2000 are made will be expensive)
Non-threatening to the market they know and love

For the rest of us, however, it sounds like another chapter of "Who Killed the Electric Car"

· · 3 years ago

@Ex - I completely agree. It shows how confused GM remains about electric cars. After all the BS about why "extended-range no-compromise" is better than the LEAF, we're supposed to get excited about the Spark? It plays right into stereotypes about EVs being small and impractical. Are they trying to sabotage public perception of electric cars? I can't imagine that GM execs really believe there's much of a market for the Spark. I suppose they're content to put something out in really small numbers, just to say they have an EV. Look at GM's hybrids. After touting the "two-mode" as a way to revolutionize the hybrid market, the sales are dismal with little hope for change. The Spark is destined to follow in the same path. I'll probably do a post about this tomorrow.

· · 3 years ago

@Jose G.
Yeah, I suppose we have been into this. For the record, I am probably not a Democrat or Republican either. I haven't checked my registration lately. I agree with you about a defensive military and the war on drugs. Where I guess we part ways is that I do not want to live in a world in which the free market and the profit motive are the main determining factors. I do agree that government intervention often produces unintended consequences but so do free markets. I could get into it in a lot of areas but since this is a car talk place:

a. it is simply not feasible, nor practical nor has it ever occurred for a national transportation system to develop without some kind of government regulation. The examples you site of Tesla and Nissan have both been the beneficiaries of government action.

b. If GM had been allowed to go under, the repercussions would have been devastating for country as a whole and it was mostly the free market that put GM in the position in which it's death would have such collateral damage.

· · 3 years ago

@Brad Berman

We have several manufacturers now planning EVs in small numbers to satisfy the new CARB requirements taking effect from 2013 (12?) in CA.

- Toyota RAV4EV, iQ EV
- Fiat 500 EV
- Honda FIT EV
- Chevy Spark EV
- BMW Active-E (but they are also planning a real EV)

· · 3 years ago

@TrasKY
"@Jose G. You watch way too much Fox and friends."

I don't see how your political bashing helps the electric car cause any.

· · 3 years ago

@Michael "I don't see how your political bashing helps the electric car cause any."

It doesn't probably. But when people start saying things like "And then the government sticks it to the GM bondholders in the process, how are markets supposed to function with that kind of uncertainty" and other such talking points, I find it to be a strange injection of politics into a discussion about EVs and so I feel the need to respond.

· · 3 years ago

The spark is a decently popular car in the rest of the world. My first thought looking at the decision to produce an electric version is that it is more aimed at European buyers. The Spark has sold 2.3 million units in the last 14 years. I can see the EV variant selling decently in the markets in which the car is already established.

· · 3 years ago

I'll be curious to see where the Spark will be priced. It's a subcompact (2" shorter than a Mini,) so they're not really competing with the larger 5 seat Leaf. They would do well to market it at under $30K (pre gov't rebate.) Otherwise, there will be little traction for this one.

Also . . . I wish they would have kept the styling of the original spartan Indian model, or simply given it a modest makeover . . .

http://www.redlineblog.com/autos/wp-content/uploads/2007/07/chevy-spark-...

The new one is truly fugly, what with all those weird panel creases and massive grill . . .

http://cdn2.worldcarfans.co/2009/1/large/2010-chevy-spark-beat-image-lea...

· owlafaye (not verified) · 3 years ago

300 or so VOLT sales in August '11 or was it September? Quite a few of the "stay ahead of the Jonses" types are smart enough to avoid these cars, and less as time goes on.

In the meantime VOLT will be racking up horror tales of the complex mechanical and electronic hardware failing, and failing very expensively.

This car continues to supply me with material to laugh hard and often...

· owlafaye (not verified) · 3 years ago

Well Fred, you keep it 5 years and only lose about $29,000 then trade it in OK? But there will not be a new Volt to trade it in on.

VOLT destiny EDSEL

· owlafaye (not verified) · 3 years ago

VOLT headed for the dead end graveyard within 24 months...Mark My Word !

· masterofnone (not verified) · 3 years ago

Lad said: "GM could care less about any of the issues solved by building EVs, i.e., bad air, home-grown jobs, foreign oil usage, etc. They are pawns of Big Oil and always will be. "

Not another oil company conspirator. I was a software engineer for Delphi, the engine electronics manufacturer for GM and now for many companies. They spent billions of dollars and lots of our time trying to improve fuel economy by a few tenths of a mile per gallon. There were no magical bullets or we would have implemented them. The oil companies have nothing to do with GM and the fuel economy that their vehicles get.

As to owlafaye who seems to specifically WANT the Volt to die: We will see.

· · 3 years ago

@masterofone,
I think you're missing the 2 most effective ways that have been proven to improve fuel economy or eliminate fuel altogether that the American auto industry has completely shunned: diesel engines and electric drivetrains.
I don't subscribe to any significant intentional collusion between big oil and big auto either. However, big auto definitely has definitely spent their "billions of dollars and lots of our time trying to improve fuel economy towards things that clearly fall within their preferred technologies while carefully avoiding things that would definitely work but fall outside of their comfort zone.
I don't subscribe to the billion dollar excuse you present as evidence that big auto cares about reducing the pollution and fuel supply ills of the automobile. The money only went to things that either wouldn't work (eg hydrogen) or would punish people for requiring them.
examples:
- lightweight transmissions that don't allow sedans to tow
- improved aerodynamics that cause water to flow into your car when you open the door in the rain
- small engines that have poor performance
- complex pollution and efficiency controls that require more service and reduce the owner's ability to do repairs him or herself. This, of course conveniently forces owners to go to factory controlled service people and/or buy large, expensive, custom sub-assemblies to make any repairs.
- undersized alternators that preclude trailer lighting

· Former Caddy Owner (not verified) · 3 years ago

All the political arguments and the GM bashing arguments and the electric vehicle only arguments and the “I can get a better deal with a 40 MPG vehicle” arguments are all so far off.

First of all. This is an American built car. It keeps jobs in America. End of argument.

Second of all. This car is for a specific set of people, and most Americans don't realize that they fit in this specific set. This car is made for people who want to drive electric only, every day, around town, and not have to own a second vehicle for a long distance trip.

Make sense? Probably not.

For those who argue that they can buy a certain vehicle and drive 100,000 miles with gasoline if they use the difference in price for gas: The whole argument is totally dependent upon the Volt owner always using gas, and we don't!

These are the FACTS from a little trip I made today. I live in a city that owns its' own power company, so I have quite an advantage over PG&E customers. About 25%. But, even PG&E customers who drive Volts understand this argument. MY LITTLE TRIP.

My last trip = 21 miles

KWH used = 5.1
Santa Clara price Per KWH = $0.88
$0.88 X 5.1 KWH used = $0.45 - Price of my 21 mile trip
Price Of Gas in Santa Clara Valley = $3.75
$3.75 divided by $0.455 (price of my trip) = 8.3 trips per gallon of gas
8.3 trips X 21 miles (my little trip) = 174 MPG equivalent

Making sense yet? Probably not.

Using the above information and then bringing my MPG equivalent down to … let's say 120 MPG, for the benefit of those who don't believe a word they hear: Over a period of 10 years, I will save a MINIMUM of $10,000 by not buying gas.

I purchased my Volt for $39,500 (basic trim)
Minus the $7,500 tax credit.
Minus the $10,000 I will save in gas.

Final cost: $22,000

Now … take your $20,000 gas saving vehicle (gas guzzler in my eyes) and add … oh let's say $5,000 for gas used over that 10 years. Whoa! Your little tin can costs a MINIMUM of $3,000 more than my very solid Volt. (I drove Cadillacs since 1978, so I know a solid car). Your small gas saving vehicle will use more like $8,000 - $10,000 worth of gas in those 10 years. Not the savings you thought …. eh?

For those arguing for electric vehicles. I am on YOUR side. When the Tesla S has a 500 mile range … I will buy it! Until then, Tesla S owners need a second vehicle. That's an added $25,000 - $35,000 cost! Add the $53,000 cost of the Tesla after tax breaks and you end up spending about $73,000 after gas savings with the Tesla.

IS ANY OF THIS MAKING SENSE?
PROBABLY NOT!

I don't know why I try.

· Former Caddy Owner (not verified) · 3 years ago

In my last post ... I forgot to add the most important argument. Wow! Fact: average family car in America spits out 12,000 pound of emisions per year! Electric only vehicles ... only 9 pounds. Make sense?

http://www.epa.gov/oms/climate/420f05001.htm

· Former Caddy Owner (not verified) · 3 years ago

In my last post ... I forgot to add the most important argument. Wow! Fact: average family car in America spits out 12,000 pound of emisions per year! Electric only vehicles ... only 9 pounds. Make sense?

http://www.epa.gov/oms/climate/420f05001.htm

· Former Caddy Owner (not verified) · 3 years ago

woops again price per kwh in Santa Clara $0.088 in case you didn't figure it out.

· · 3 years ago

@Former Caddy Owner,
"IS ANY OF THIS MAKING SENSE?"

Yes, it all makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, not everyone at GM gets it and they are devoting a lot of effort towards going against what you clearly are supporting (such as bait-and-switch to the Cruze Eco). They even went so far as to take away the last car I leased from them from me and crushed it in order to make their point and shut mine down.

I'll propose that the Tesla Model S probably does not need a 500 mile range any more than a Cadillac does if fast charging infrastructure gets proliferated along major roadways, just as gas stations for you Volt have. I suspect the happy point for convenient long-haul travel will be around their 300 mile range battery since there's no need to pay for and haul around that extra 200 miles of battery that you won't use 99% of the time and the fast charger can be charging your car as you take normal meal breaks on the road.

This means that I'll add to your statement that Tesla Model S owners will need a second vehicle unless it gets 500 mile range, or fast charging stations get deployed, or it gets a range extender that uses a readily available fuel.

"I don't know why I try"

If we don't all keep trying, we know we won't succeed. Thanks for joining in!

· · 3 years ago

I agree that, more so than bigger batteries which are too expensive for most people, or "range extenders" which add cost and complexity, Fast Charging is the real ICE killer. I'm guessing plenty of folks at GM/Ford/etc. are more than happy to delay the acceptance/deployment of Fast Chargers...

· · 3 years ago

Only 884 Volts in stock in September:

Alan Beaty, vice president of sales and service for Chevrolet, said dealers have 2,000 demonstrators and 884 in stock in the 34 states where the Volt is sold. He added that the most traded vehicle for the Volt is the Toyota Prius.”Supply will still be tight on the Volt for a few months,” he said in a conference call. “We’re positioning it for 2012 when sales will be national.”
http://www.autoobserver.com/2011/10/september-auto-sales-defy-economic-h...

· · 3 years ago

@Former Caddy Owner (not verified) "This car is made for people who want to drive electric only, every day, around town, and not have to own a second vehicle for a long distance trip.

Make sense? Probably not.
"
It doesn't make sense because you have ignored an important fact. 60% of American families already have more than one car - just like our family. Since I already have an ICE car, why do I need another engine in the garage ? That is the reason I bought a Leaf - I can go much further without burning gas - infact I can go to downtown Seattle and come back without burning gas. I just can't do that with Volt. On those occassions we need to drive further, we just take the ICE.

BTW, we couldn't just buy Volt and sell off other cars. We need 2 cars, since my wife works in a different place.

· slipjig (not verified) · 3 years ago

>@owlafaye: In the meantime VOLT will be racking up horror tales of the
>complex mechanical and electronic hardware failing, and failing very expensively.

I can understand mistrust of GM's motives and reliability, based on their history. But according to the latest Consumer Reports, the Volt has 'much better than average reliability'. Admittedly, that is based on early responses to CR's polling, but I can believe it. The Volt, being different than any other car out there, is likely to be over-engineered.

For me, the Volt is a good solution. It wouldn't work for everybody; but believe me, I did a thorough TCO analysis, to the point of writing a phone app for it, and for my situation it's a win.

· · 3 years ago

@slipjig,
An EV's reliability should be incredibly better than an ICE. There are only a few moving parts.
Even the Volt and other HEVs should be a whole lot better than a pure ICE since most of the wear and tear on the ICE is done during the strain to the ICE of accelerating. The electric motor on an EV or HEV should take a lot of this strain off of the ICE. The Volt's large motor, of course, will take a lot more off than the Prius's small motor.
The simple planetary transmission in the Volt or Prius should cause them to last a whole lot longer than a conventional ICE transmission. If designed properly, they shouldn't wear out for many hundreds of thousands of miles, possibly millions of miles.

· · 3 years ago

@EVNow
"60% of American families already have more than one car - just like our family."

That is the same reason I bought a Leaf instead of a Volt. We already have a gas car for when we need the extra range, the Leaf is ~$8k cheaper, and we can save up to 3 Gallons of gas a day instead of 1 Gallon a day on the Volt.

That said, if I was still single, I probably would've gone with the Volt instead, as I wouldn't want to keep a 2nd car in that case. If my round-trip commute was over 80 miles, I would've also chosen a Volt.

· Former caddy owner (not verified) · 2 years ago

To all the EV only owners. Once again ... I am on your side. However, most Americans drive less than 40 miles to work. I have driven over 1,000 in my volt and I still have enough of the Chevy dealers gas to go another 245 miles.

I realize that the argument for price of the car minus gas savings can be made for the leaf. However, there is one argument that can't be made.

Made in the USA. When the middle class collapses because everyone wants cheap crap or good foreign products (even though American made products are just as good), none of this will make sense.

I made good money. My last bill was paid off in 1994. I'm all set. But I still worry about my country. We need to get back to supporting our own. We need to be the leaders once again.

As stated before, my Volt costs only $22,000 after all savings. Maybe not as good as the leaf, but how many American mouths are you feeding when you buy the leaf. I haven't bought a foreign car in 35 years, and I visit Made In America web sites constantly. American made products are getting harder and harder to find.

I found one at the Chevy dealer and it is awesome. And I'm proud!

· · 2 years ago

Former caddy owner: I do agree with your "Buy American" philosophy. However you should note that in 2012 the Nissan LEAF will be built in Nissan's Smyrna, Tennessee plant as will it's batteries. Your Volt has battery cells that were made by LG Chem that were made in Korea. The LEAF may be more "Made in the USA" that the volt by the end of 2012. Just a thought.

· · 2 years ago

@Former Caddy Owner
I don't buy the whole "Made in the USA" argument. If a product is made better or cheaper elsewhere, I'll buy that instead. It's called a free market and it works. Cars in particular are complex and have many parts produced in many places, and that's ok. That said, our government shouldn't have policies that make it more expensive to produce things elsewhere. On the flip side, I will never support any kind of "Protectionist" measures that do more harm than good. I support the "Fair Tax" that encourages domestic production, and puts everyone on level ground by replacing all income and corporate taxes with a national sales tax that includes a prebate up to the poverty level.

* Nissan is opening a plant to produce Leafs in Tennessee.
* Toyota also assembles many cars in the USA.
* GM had a perfectly good pure EV they chose to destroy.
* GM assembles some of its cars in Mexico.
* Most oil used in the USA is NOT made in the USA.
* Most electricity used in the USA is made in the USA.

So buying an American brand doesn't always mean buying an American car.

· · 2 years ago

@Former caddy owner,
I completely agree with your sentiments about Buy American. Unfortunately, our traditional American auto OEMs have completely abandoned me. They don't make any cars that I want and took away the last one they made that I did want. They quit making off-road vehicles except the Jeep, they quit putting manual transmissions in anything except sports cars, and they refuse to put decent electric drivetrains in anything except for a small niche (Ford HEVs and the Volt) that just fall short of where I will invest my money.
If the American auto OEMs want my money or support, they'll have to build something that comes close to being what I feel is on a reasonable, sincere path to sustainability.
In the mean time most of my money goes to Tesla (an American company run by an immigrant seeking the American Dream) but I've nodded to Nissan for trying to do the right thing as well even thought sadly, they have made stupid mistakes and their profits go to Japan.

· Former caddy owner (not verified) · 2 years ago

The argument about this being a free market is naive.  If you think our politicians and CEO's are allowing us to have a free market, you haven't been watching the news.

Yes it's free to a point, but there is a whole lot of manipulating going on under the table.  

Until this administration put an end to it, we, the taxpayers, were paying the taxes owed to foreign countries by American companies operating overseas.  Do you not see the irony?  They lay us off so they can hire foreigners, then make us pay their foreign taxes.  And please, I am not an Obama fan.  However, I am not a basher.  If you don't give credit where it is due, you're a basher.  So you don't have to reply on that one.

A recent program on public TV exposed the way workers in China are being treated by both their government and some (not all!) American companies.  Some companies have built entire towns and factories, far away from any large community, then paid their workers around 13 cents a day so they couldn't go anywhere.  Their suicide rate is through the roof.  When we buy those products, we are condoning.

The list goes on and on.  It is not free by any means.  Someone pays.  My generation had a choice and we chose Made In America.  There was a time when Made In Japan was laughed at.  I am here to tell you that those Japanese products were pretty good!  And cheap!  But we wanted our own products because we knew where our bread was buttered.  And it was not because of WWII.  There was no hatred going on by the 60's.

 The CEO of a little company not 3 miles from where I live (Oracle) appeared on 60 minutes a few months ago and stated that plans are being considered to move overseas.  He stated that his allegiance was to the stock holders.  Not his country, not his workers, but his big money people.  They are not going broke!  Some of the richest people in this country work there!  Fact is, most companies make good money here.  They just want more.  If Oracle leaves, they will hurt my community badly.  All so the major stock holders can have more.  

And please, don't think your 401K that is based on foreign work is safe when this thing goes south.  Simple math.  When there are not enough people left to buy and support American products produced in foreign countries, those foreign factories will also fold and their economy will go south also, and so will your 401K.

The fact is, this is the instant gratification generation.  No eyes looking forward to the future.  There is a lot of dirty politics, and a lot of human suffering going on so we can save a buck, so we can party on the weekend.  

I am not saying we shouldn't allow foreign products here.  Of course we should!  But they are stacking the deck by using our technology and savvy, and then manipulating the value of their money so that companies who chose to stay here, or can't afford to move, must fold!  

Let them build their own factories, use their own technology, and then compete with us.  If the product is good and cheaper, then they deserve their hard earned cash.

Sorry I got off the beaten path, but I want to say that I know my Volt is partially made in foreign countries.  Something I don't condone.  Can batteries be made here at a decent price?  Of course!  Stop blaming the American worker and take a look at executives that get hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses, and buy outs, and big, major stock holders who are 3rd and 4th generation "never have worked a day in their lives" people.  

Yes, it's un-American to outlaw such behavior, but they are pissing on our heads and calling it rain.  I for one have my American made umbrella open.

People are waking up to the problem.  Witness the daily "Made In America" segments on ABC News.

And one thing more ... in sport mode, my Volt hauls ass!!!

· Anonymous (not verified) · 2 years ago

GM is winding down on its PR/marketing for the Volt. That's not good news. From commitment to halo cars, and now focus on small ICE vehicles, that's definitely a step back toward EV strategy :(

It "sounds" to me a more gradual approach but same result as the EV-1 fiasco.

Nissan has a plan for EV. GM has..."we don't want to disclose" (aka no plan).

I've worked with executives of many multinational technology companies - SUPER BIG ones - and have the honor of being trained by various instructors that teach PR speaking for VPs and C-level executives. The pattern on how GM is behaving (on EVs) is very similar to the way I've learnt "the business." Bear in mind, corps are "cheap," and so many corps SHARE the same sort of teaching/strategy when it comes to PR.

Wake up and smell the coffee, GM / Volt supporters. Time to write to GM and tell them to spend $ on EV vehicle infrastructure!

· Francois B. (not verified) · 2 years ago

I live on Montreal's south shore, in Quebec, Canada. We (my wife and I) just ordered a 2012 Chevrolet Volt at the Vision Chevrolet dealer near our home.

The ordering process is smooth, but the dealer informed us that our car will not be delivered to us before around may-june 2012. That makes it 7-8 months from now.

This makes me believe that the manufacturing/supply cannot actually match the demand for those cars, and thus this can make a bias for the sales figures. (Would volts be more sold if there were more available?) I can't confirm more than that, but my humble opinion is that GM would be able to sell more Volts if they were more available.

Financially, here in Quebec, electricity is at $0.07 per kWh, and mostly generated from hydro (absolutely no CO2) buying an EV only makes financial and economical sense.

· Former caddy owner (not verified) · 2 years ago

More on the "Free Trade Market". An article in today's New York Times by Keith Bradsher points out that China is dumping solar panels on the American market at a cost that is lower than their production and shipping costs. All possible by their government subsidies.

Their goal? To close down American businesses. This is the new cold war. They are still a communist country. Believe that. American solar companies are closing down at an alarming rate because we Americans can't see the writing on the wall. End result, more people in the unemployment line.

We whine and wait for our country to do something, when the power of purchasing is In our hands.

OK, that's the last I will post about the supposed free market. I will end this by stating that the people who say that the Chevy Volts mileage is terrible when the heater and lights and wipers run are correct.

ACCORDING TO MY KILL A WATT METER, IT DROPPED FROM THE EQUIVALENT OF 130 MPG TO A "TERRIBLE" 114 MPG.

So, if you're in the market, you may want to consider that terrible mileage.

ps ice engines also suffer in winter

· JeffU (not verified) · 2 years ago

Some times the creators are the last to know how popular their product is.

Until you drive a Volt, you have no idea what you are talking about.

Explain sex for the first time. You can use as many words as you need. :)

· Bill Howland (not verified) · 2 years ago

My volt may have an inefficient heater, and be an overly complicated mechanic's nightmare, but it does have an 8 year warranty on all the techno stuff. Time will tell as to whether GM will honor its warranty or give us the 'Chrysler' treatment. I've already had horrid treatment by GM's engineering dept.

Seeing as the volt is so expensive, I'd say demand for the car is pretty good, considering they are few and far between at dealerships currently. And for the time-being, GM is at least producing a quality product, according to Consumer's Union. Let's hope they keep it up. But competition is good for GM, Bob Lutz stating that it was only the Tesla Roadster production that shamed GM into producing the Volt. If Nissan can figure out a way to lower the cost/size of the battery in the Leaf, and start giving the thing some REAL RANGE, and stop worrying about that stupid level 3 charging nonsense, then THAT would really make GM sweat bullets.

So how about it Nissan? Put your chemists to work and figure out how to put a cheap 200-300 mile range battery in your existing Leaf, and stop worrying about charger rates. Can you imagine how many Leaf's people would want then?

· Francois B. (not verified) · 2 years ago

The Volt deliveries and production numbers are released publicly for november:
Deliveries are now at 1139 units, a little higher that the 1108 units from october,
The Hamtrack production plant did produce 2029 Volts net in november.

GM is ramping up the production, so with the transit time delay, the deliveries will follow the production.
Also, the exported cars do not show up in the numbers of the deliveries, but they are certainly well awaited for in Canada, Europe and Australia.

In brief, so far it's positive news!

Francois

· Bruce (not verified) · 2 years ago

I have been watching the press releases on the volt, and I gotta say that I am impressed with the fuel efficiency that they have produced. Not only with the volt, but with other Chevy cars too. But until they can mass produce an electric car with over 200 hp, I'll stick with my good old fashioned diesel generator powered truck.

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