Just about every automotive journalist out there has beaten the upcoming Chevrolet Volt to death in regards to current information. We’ve talked about its claimed 40 miles on a single charge, its 220 volt charging capacity, the lithium-ion batteries etc. The car hasn’t even been released yet and it already feels like it’s and old model that’s in need of a redesign, and that my friends is a very bad thing. Conceptually the Volt is a great idea, but the problem is that technology has yet to find a way to make the Volt inexpensive and efficient over the long term.
Just think about this for a moment. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt will supposedly be released this coming November with a starting price of $41,000 (including a $720 destination charge). Granted there is a $7,500 tax credit on the Volt, but before you get that you’ll have to shell out the full 41k and then wait to get the credit back on your next tax return. Combine that with the fact that you’re also going to have to fill the Volt up with premium fuel once your electric charge runs out and we’re thinking that everything that was so green about the Volt just got shot to hell.
Hybrid and electric cars appeal to a small segment of the population. Yes they are environmentally conscious, will perhaps make great city cars and yes, they may make you feel better about yourself, but in the end I really don’t see the value of the current models in long term situations. Just think about this for a moment. A new Volt will cost you around 42k with destination fee, which, if you put no money down and finance the entire pot over 5 years comes out to about $700 a month… FOR A VOLT! Now, Chevy is also offering a $350 per/month 36 month lease but that comes with you putting down $2,500 out of pocket. Then after those 3 years are up you are left with absolutely nothing when you turn the car in. I mean one of the advantages of actually purchasing a car is that you get the benefit of reselling it once it’s paid off and making some of your money back. Like I said, the key to success of any electric car, hybrid or economy car is to bring value to the customer, do that and you’ve got a winner. The Volt philosophy seems to be the opposite though as they are charging the customer more and giving them less… not the best way to do it in my opinion.