The Chevy Volt – Are all those charging stations going to waste

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The Chevy Volt – Are all those charging stations going to waste

I know, I know – I'm not a particular fan of electric cars. The technology just isn't there. Sorry sports fans, but it's not. The new GM Chevy Volt is going to cost $41000 stripped and $45000 with some "accessories." Even with a $7500 government rebate – the thing will cost $33, 500. And that's a lot of bread for a car the size of a Chevy entry level Cobalt that costs $15 grand. Jay Leno says that it feels just like a Cobalt.

Here's a comment by Henry Payne at NRO:

A $41,000 Cobalt — or a $33,500 Cobalt — will always be a niche vehicle for limousine libs looking for a second car. For the great unwashed masses, however, rival gasoline-powered compact sedans priced under $20,000 — say a Honda Civic or Ford Focus — make a lot more economic sense. Rushed soccer moms won't have the luxury of adapting their lives to the Volt's demanding recharging schedule (it takes hours to recharge the Volt at home). But that's something Obama pal Leo DiCaprio can delegate to an assistant.

DiCaprio's present green ride, the hybrid Toyota Prius, is the first green status car. But the rest of the hybrid industry has not caught fire along with it. The Prius makes up a full 50 percent of hybrid sales — ten years after it and dozens of other hybrids came on the market. Today, only 1.9 percent of all cars sold are hybrids. There are only so many people willing to buy a car because it is "green." Most folks want a car for convenience.

GM knows this, which is why it is only initially producing 10,000 Volts. And most will be leased at a money-losing $350 a month — a signal GM sees the Volt as a halo car, not a meal ticket. "I'm not sure the Volt is going to be a volume vehicle," auto analyst George Magliano of IHS Global Insight told the Washington Post. "The technology still isn't there to make them cheap. At the end of the day, the consumer pays a hefty premium to make a statement."

I drove a Focus last week in Detroit and it is a fine little car. Handled well on the freeway, plenty of room inside, and got great gas mileage, nearly 30 MPG and about $18K loaded. But what do I know, I have a 30 year old gas guzzler that gets 15 in the city, 25 on the road. But it sure is comfy.

I notice my buddies at Laz are putting charging stations in some of their garages. It will be interesting to see just how much use they get.

JVH

UPDATE:

Ran into this tidbit over at Hot Air

Lets do some math:

Chevy Volt: $41,000 (True Cost)
Honda Civic: $20,000 (Average build)
Difference: $21,000

Gas: $2.45/gal (in Oklahoma City)
The difference in price would buy 8,571.43 gallons of gas. The Civic
gets an average of 29 miles to the gallon. That’s 248,581.47 miles on
the price difference.

Assuming the average driver drives 12,000 miles a year, AND you only
drive the Volt on the 40 mile range of it’s battery, using no gas, you’d
have to own the Volt for 20.7 years to justify the price difference in
gas savings. How long’s that warranty again?

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John Van Horn

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