Originally Posted by bucksfan2
Has anyone ever come out and laid out the actual cost of the Volt? It takes money in order to charge the Volt. It may not be gasoline expesnive but that is an added cost that I have yet to see mentioned.
According to the Volt website, it costs around $1.50 in electricity to fully charge the batteries.
I think the Volt is a remarkable achievement. The GM claim from the beginning was to build and bring to market a car that achieves upwards 40 miles on electricity but without any of the range anxiety issues of an electric-only. They did, and they were the first to do it. According to the reviews, the car itself is well executed.
One area where GM has miserably failed is in the marketing of the vehicle. People simply don't know how it works. Joe Shmoe sees the Volt as a $40,000 car that only goes 40 miles while the Nissan Leaf is $25,000 and goes 80 miles. To a driver, the Volt acts like a Prius plug-in but things are very different under the hood. Only in very limited instances is the gas motor actually driving the vehicle (e.g., steep inclines and rapid accelerations). The other 99% of the time, the gas motor is a generator to keep the batteries charged while the electric motor makes the car move. So the Volt keeps going when the batteries are drained like any other car would. The Nissan Leaf driver has to call a tow truck or a buddy.
Regarding the lack of sales, GM did a very limited role-out of the vehicle. So there weren't many vehicles to sell. They do this because of the technological risky nature of the vehicle. If something were to malfunction with the car, it's much easier to recall and fix 8,000 cars instead of 100,000. The underlying technology will mature as it's sold worldwide, and the cost of the vehicle will reduce while the electric range will increase. Additionally, GM didn't really need the vehicle to sell extremely well for the Volt to be a success. It's a halo vehicle. It draws people into the showroom, people who wouldn't otherwise pay a visit. This drives sales for cars like the Cruze and Sonic.
In short, the sales are disappointing but it's too soon to declare the vehicle a bust. There's a bit more to it than that.