Number of Chevy Volts sold last month: 125

posted at 8:00 pm on August 3, 2011 by Allahpundit

Via Jonathan Last at the Standard. Remember a few months ago when people were snickering because GM had sold only 281 Volts that month? Yeah.

The Nissan Leaf once again outsold General Motors’ Chevy Volt in July after GM slowed production of its electric car last month, giving Nissan a nearly 2,000-car edge in total sales.

Nissan sold 931 all-electric battery-powered Leafs in July, bringing the total number of electric cars the company has sold to 4,806. General Motors only sold 125 Volts after shutting down its Detroit-based plant to retool it, bringing its total vehicles shipped to 2,870. General Motors expects to sell around 16,000 Volts by the end of the year now that the plant has re-opened…

Most electric car buyers are more concerned about how long it takes to charge the car and how far it is able to drive than the actual price of the electric car, according to a report by Accenture. Pure plug-in electric cars are typically limited in how far they will go on a charge. They can also take a long time to recharge.

The Leaf is a pure plug-in whereas the Volt recharges its electric battery while it’s running on gas power, but the Leaf’s also roughly eight grand cheaper than the Volt. Even so, I admit that this rave review by Joe “Republican suicide bombers” Nocera back in June left me intrigued about what it would be like to drive the new Chevy. Why bother saving for a down payment on a house when you could blow $40,000 on a green novelty car? Plus, imagine all the new friends you’ll make as people wander by and say, “Wow, this dude actually bought one.”

GM claims that sales were slow this month because there simply aren’t many Volts left to sell. They had to shut their plant in Detroit for a month for upgrades, so the production line ground to a halt and the supply of new cars slowed to a trickle. Does that explain it? Mark Modica of the National Legal and Policy Center investigates:

A search of cars.com site showed nearly 500 Chevy Volts listed for sale. I had originally assumed that GM dealers were advertising vehicles that were not actually available for sale, since GM has stated that there were only a “few” Volts available. I decided to call a few dealers within 75 miles of my location to determine what the true situation was. I stopped my research after finding that five of the first six dealers I called had Volts in inventory available for immediate sale. Two of the five dealers even had two each in stock. I can now safely assume that GM is, once again, not being entirely honest with its facts. The demand for the Chevy Volt is not as strong as GM would have us believe.

Martin confirmed that there are Volts available at dealerships. According to Martin, there are 116 new Chevy Volts available for sale to the public at dealerships, plus demo units that can be sold…

The Chevy Volt will not be a big seller for GM; the car just doesn’t offer enough value to get a large part of the population to purchase one. The few consumers that choose to purchase seem to be satisfied with their decision, that’s great. That doesn’t mean that sales are going to take off just because GM will build them at a faster pace. I have to believe that GM knows this. I just can’t figure out why they continue to play out the hoax that the Volt is going to be a blockbuster for the company.

I.e. even with just a few hundred new Volts on the market, they still sold only slightly better than half that amount this month. The latest gimmick is that GM plans to install solar-powered charging stations at Volt dealerships to polish its new green cred. That’s super, but their big problem right now is the fact that Toyota’s planning to roll out a new plug-in Prius next year that’ll likely be $10,000 cheaper than the Volt. It won’t go as far solely on electric power — just 13 miles compared to the Volt’s 35-mile range — but it costs less, charges much more quickly, and will get you 51 mpg via its hybrid engine once you’re beyond the 13-mile range. If your work commute is a short one, you’re in business. And even if it isn’t, with gas at $4 per gallon, the ten grand you save on the Prius will pay for 127,000 miles of driving on gas power. Japan wins again.

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The Chevy Dolt.

Emperor Norton on August 3, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Plus, imagine all the new friends you’ll make get laughs from as people wander by and say, “Wow, this dude actually bought one.”

ted c on August 3, 2011 at 8:02 PM

George Will said it best.

This is lemon socialism – subsidizing failure.

KingGold on August 3, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Let me be the first…

Shocking!

faraway on August 3, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Because there won’t be any coal factories left to charge ‘em up! Thta’s Obama’s promise.

SouthernGent on August 3, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Clearly the ecofriendly Volt doesn’t receive enough subsidies, double or triple the money provided by the government. People shall drive Volt.

NORUK on August 3, 2011 at 8:05 PM

GM’s been channel stuffing for quite a while now…and yes, they lie constantly. They’re Government Motors and the Volt is the ‘ObamaMobile’…which is all you need to know.

AUINSC on August 3, 2011 at 8:06 PM

costs a bundle, doesn’t do jack….kinda like Democrats

ted c on August 3, 2011 at 8:06 PM

Success!
We have a winner here!
Lots of Volts being sold!
If only Marty had a Volt….The movie would have been called;
“Back to Present- 35 miles earlier”

Electrongod on August 3, 2011 at 8:07 PM

pack POTUS, Momma and the Kids in one and let’s see how she goes…..

probably bottom out like the Beast did in Scotland a month ago…

ted c on August 3, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Its nice to see GM management has learned the PR techniques of their government masters.

rob verdi on August 3, 2011 at 8:07 PM

The latest gimmick is that GM plans to install solar-powered charging stations at Volt dealerships to polish its new green cred.

Good grief. So let me get this straight, you buy a new Volt, finish the paperwork and the salesmen says: “In 8 short recharging hours you’ll be rolling out of in mediocrity!” All marketing, that’s what this car is.

Meric1837 on August 3, 2011 at 8:07 PM

Insert “The” in the right spot.
Geeze.

Electrongod on August 3, 2011 at 8:08 PM

it just needs an upgraded Flux Capacitor….get that bad boy up to 88mph and you’re gonna see some serious **!@!

ted c on August 3, 2011 at 8:08 PM

the Volt is the ‘ObamaMobile’…which is all you need to know.

AUINSC on August 3, 2011 at 8:06 PM

The Edsel was named after Henry Ford’s son, so it’s fitting that the Volt is called the ObamaMobile.

faraway on August 3, 2011 at 8:09 PM

ted c on August 3, 2011 at 8:08 PM

The only way this thing gets to 88 mph is if you drop it out of an airplane.

Meric1837 on August 3, 2011 at 8:10 PM

Yeah, and just try to re-sell one..

…..It’ll be Re-volting

Chip on August 3, 2011 at 8:10 PM

LOLOLOLOLOlOLolOLoloLololol….

*gasp*

LOLOLolOLolOlol0OO0lo)lllll…

Midas on August 3, 2011 at 8:11 PM

Actually, this is good news. It keeps the taxpayer subsidy (approximately $10,000 per car) lower than it could have been.

Mason on August 3, 2011 at 8:12 PM

You know, assuming you have a place to plug in near work and at home, that new Prius might be worthwhile for people with short commutes.

The Volt doesn’t make sense because it’s ONLY good for relatively short commutes – you can’t do anything else with it.

Red Cloud on August 3, 2011 at 8:13 PM

and will get you 51 mpg via its hybrid engine

Obama’s new CAFE fleet standard is 54.5 mpg which means that for each one of these hybrids sold, many more vehicles with even higher fuel economy will have to be sold to bring the fleet average up to the required 54.5. This is your future…enjoy.

Skandia Recluse on August 3, 2011 at 8:15 PM

The only way this thing gets to 88 mph is if you drop it out of an airplane.

Meric1837 on August 3, 2011 at 8:10 PM

I will put my money on Bin Laden.
72 virgins gets you a whirlpool in your tank.
sausalito summer nights!

Electrongod on August 3, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Now the electric companies can really have some rolling blackouts.

Ronnie on August 3, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Are people insane?? It won’t cause your electric bill to go up anymore than $2000 a month, and you get a whopping 30 miles per charge. What’s not to love??

Southernblogger on August 3, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Japan wins again.

Interesting parallel; if this were the debt deal, Ed would be telling us what a win this is for GM that they’re selling fewer which actually means the rate of decline in sales is increasing, so it’s obviously a win for GM because… the rate is increasing! Poo-poo your negativity and pointing out that the exact opposite is true!

Midas on August 3, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Unexpectedly, I presume? This car is a flop and a failure on the scale of the Ford Edsel.

Greek Fire on August 3, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Will the Volt become King Barry’s Trabant???

Knucklehead on August 3, 2011 at 8:18 PM

George Will said it best.

This is lemon socialism – subsidizing failure.

KingGold on August 3, 2011 at 8:04 PM

Results are irrelevant to the Left. The -only- thing that seems to matter are “good” intentions.

Their entire world view is rested upon economic illiteracy.

visions on August 3, 2011 at 8:23 PM

$5,500.00 for a custom 34 ford pickup golf cart on buy it now ebay. Some carts get about 150 miles on one charge. Strictly green technology, none of these gas guzzlers that GM makes…

Karmi on August 3, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Don’t laugh, we own this POS, lock, stock and barrel. Obama screwed the the GM stock holders in favor of the union and now GM is an anchor around the neck of the American taxpayer. The Volt is just a symptom of the failure of the big government/union collaboration that the American public will not support. GM, I’ll take the loss, go bankrupt as soon as possible. I support Ford for taking no bailout money and I proudly own the stock.

MJZZZ on August 3, 2011 at 8:26 PM

what if you’re one of the poor schmoes that actually purchased one of the 125 cars… thinking either

1) you’re cooler than everyone else, or
2) whew! glad you got one before they were all gone, or
3) wait…that wasn’t a monthly subsidy the government was offering?

toenail on August 3, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Smells like…Smug…

catmman on August 3, 2011 at 8:29 PM

You all know that the Employment Prevention Agency (EPA) is forcing electric power plants to shut down and there are no available alternative replacements.
1) Will that force electric rates to go up and…
2) How much will it cost to charge your car?

In addition to the 40 grand for a wind-up toy, when winter comes, most battery operated devices don’t work very well in the cold.

Kini on August 3, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Maybe I’m just not privy to high level plans, or maybe I don’t quite understand some technical detail, or maybe I should start a blog titled: If In My Feeble Mind, I Can Think Of It.

Any way, how is it so difficult to understand that if EV batteries are standardized made larger and made to plug in from the outside, leave the weight of the engine out, instal automated battery exchanging machines at gas stations, plus put no EV cars on the market that weight more than 2500lbs.

Maybe with some practical magic and some common sense, electric cars could start on the market that would have a minimum 100 mile range and instead of waiting for a recharge trade batteries and take off on your road trip in about the same time as filling up.

Maybe, a model T-EV and developing the Batt Station is a little better idea than trying to make an everything for everybody for a rotten value, or maybe… I should just say, sorry.

Speakup on August 3, 2011 at 8:30 PM

All hail the official Pope-mobile of the church of global warming (or whatever they’re calling it this week).

Meric1837 on August 3, 2011 at 8:31 PM

I checked out the volt at a chevy display at the fair this year.
Volt typically equipped= $40K
426HP Camaro, nicely equipped= $36K
And you dont need coal fired plants to run it

JusDreamin on August 3, 2011 at 8:32 PM

what’s not to love??
 
Southernblogger on August 3, 2011 at 8:17 PM

 
The subsidies, the price, the looks, the handling, the sluggish performance, and the built-in obsolescence comes to mind.
 
I could add the government/company owner’s unjustified force-of-law attack on Toyota to bias the market against the Volt’s main competitor, but that would just be piling on.

rogerb on August 3, 2011 at 8:32 PM

So its current is 125 volts DC?

Kermit on August 3, 2011 at 8:32 PM

If the Supreme Court gives Obama the green light that the government can force you to purchase health insurance (and they will), you can bet your arse they’ll find a way to pass legislation you have to purchase a Volt the next time you elect to purchase a vehicle. Even people who don’t own a car will be forced to purchase a Volt because everyone eventually will “sit” in a car.

TulsAmerican on August 3, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Perhaps we could insist as a nation of green advocates that BarryO’s campaign bus tour of the nation be conducted solely via Volt. Leadership and all that, donchaknow…..

Robert17 on August 3, 2011 at 8:40 PM

I’m waiting for the government to start buying the damned things like gangbusters…

Police Interceptors Baby!!!

BigWyo on August 3, 2011 at 8:41 PM

plus put no EV cars on the market that weight more than 2500lbs.
 
Speakup on August 3, 2011 at 8:30 PM

 
This would require the application of advanced lightweight materials, likely doubling the price of any EVs and essentially stopping sales.
 
Look at a Mazda Miata. That’s about 2500lbs. A Chevy Cruze (Volt’s $17k, 42mpg (ha) non-hybrid twin) is ~3000, and a Volt is 3500. 1000lbs is not easily shed without cost or safety suffering.

rogerb on August 3, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Sure, laugh at it, but little Bammie’s 54.5 or 56.2 or whatever means that this is all that the dealers will have if you want a regular car. The prices of all other vehicles will be jacked high enough to keep you from buying one, whatever that $ number is. Some of the profit there will be applied against likely losses selling the tiny clown cars.

Playing the mix game, and forcing the numbers through pricing is the only way the car companies can get to the averages demanded by the D!ck.

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2011 at 8:48 PM

Good write up on the same topic at Spannerhead.

Bee on August 3, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Plus, imagine all the new friends you’ll make as people wander by and say, “Wow, this dude actually bought one.”

Seems more likely they will be passing your broken down Volt on the side of the road.

VibrioCocci on August 3, 2011 at 8:50 PM

I wouldn’t buy a Government Motors car if they were the only auto available. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

Dandapani on August 3, 2011 at 8:51 PM

The Corporation which lead the campaign for Obama in 2008 through its media division NBC bought 1000 Chevey volts and the President appointed it’s CEO to head his jobs program to which he responded by moving GE’s imaging headquarters to China. The Obama admin bought 61 Volts for the government and they figured the break even point for which it would cost the same as a gasoline powered car to be 39 years

duncantwn on August 3, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Imagine getting to go to your local car dealer to charge your car! Won’t that be fun… They have free popcorn there.

kringeesmom on August 3, 2011 at 8:57 PM

It’s not really Japan winning. Toyota is becoming as American as anything from Detroit.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on August 3, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Or a new car buyer could pick up an Accent for around $14k, get 40 mpg and spend the 26 grand they saved on gas for it and drive it into the ground. That’s a quarter of a million miles.

Jim708 on August 3, 2011 at 9:06 PM

It’s not really Japan winning. Toyota is becoming as American as anything from Detroit.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on August 3, 2011 at 9:01 PM

No, it’s actually the greedy UAW losing, and that’s good for America.

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Those that count the two I bought? Because we took them after we found out how dern many AA’s it took to fill it up.

hawkdriver on August 3, 2011 at 9:12 PM

DO those that count the two I bought? Because we took them BACK after we found out how dern many AA’s it took to fill it up.

hawkdriver on August 3, 2011 at 9:12 PM

FIFM

And I almost never drink the night before I fly. :-)

hawkdriver on August 3, 2011 at 9:21 PM

We won’t really know how the Volt is selling until the 2012 model year starts. GM just shut down the plant for three weeks to increase capacity. That’s one reason why so few Volts were delivered last month. GM has thousands of Chevy stores, even after the bankruptcy and closing of many dealers. The roll out was slow, first in a few states and markets, then expanding nationwide. Just filling the channel so that dealers have at least a demo and a car to sell took the bulk of prior production. Some dealers are not eager, if the Volt indeed draws traffic, to sell their only Volt. So like I said, if sales continue at 500-1000 a month once production is ramped up, yeah it’s a bomb. But we won’t know till October or November at the earliest.

People who have bought or leased them, like them.

Also, most of the people talking about the Volt have no, none, zip, nada, zilch experience with it. It handles decently, is quicker than expected, and the powertrain works seamlessly. My cousin owns one and two of my editors at The Truth About Cars (a site not known to favor GM products) gave the car itself a positive review. Though I didn’t drive it, I have ridden in it and it’s far from the lemon that GM haters would have you believe.

As a conservative/libertarian guy it pains me to see right wingers make inaccurate claims about the Volt. It may pan out, it may not, but right now the data just isn’t in.

Putting aside tax credits and bailouts it’s an impressive bit of engineering. I’m no fan of Obama but I know a thing or two about cars and the Volt is a cool car. Is it worth the money with or without the tax credit? That’s up to you to decide if you want to buy one. Is Al Jolson’s Packard really worth $1.1 million? I suppose it was for the person who bought it last week. Don’t let your distaste for Obama and the bailout to obscure reality.

Ronnie Schreiber
Cars In Depth

rokemronnie on August 3, 2011 at 9:26 PM

125 more silly dolts. You couldn’t give me a Volt! Let all the union workers who build them, buy them!

GFW on August 3, 2011 at 9:41 PM

“Nissan sold 931 all-electric battery-powered Leafs in July, bringing the total number of electric cars the company has sold to 4,806. General Motors only sold 125 Volts after shutting down its Detroit-based plant to retool it, bringing its total vehicles shipped to 2,870.”

Which was it? Detroit or Japan which suffered through the horrible earthquake & tsunamis… Oh, yes. Detroit. The event was called the UAW.

“General Motors expects to sell around 16,000 Volts by the end of the year now that the plant has re-opened…”

BWAH HA HA HA HA hahahahahahahahaha!

It would be even more funny if we hadn’t bailed out GM…. But hey, at least the UAW’s health benefits were rolled into Obamacare….

Danny on August 3, 2011 at 9:44 PM

rogerb on August 3, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Losing the engine alone would probably drop 800lbs.

The Volt tries to do too much in a market that’s not geared to support upper end anything yet.

A lot can be done with modern standard materials.

Try to open a potato chip or cereal bag lately?
Materials have become much stronger in the last twenty years.

Speakup on August 3, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi Style gets 87 MPG – but you can’t buy it in the US. Wonder why not? These aren’t your grand-daddy’s diesel Mercedes. I drove one while on vacation in Europe – very fun to drive – turbo spins up giving you lots of power for merging and passing. Affordable enough that 50% of new cars sold in Europe have these turbo-diesels under the hood.
.
Here’s a question, what do you do with a Chevy Volt after the batteries wear out? Another $10,000? $20,000?
.
I drove a Volt recently. It’s heavy and sluggish for a little car. Feels like a little 4-cyl under the hood. The plastic used for the interior is cheap and brittle – the shifter knob was cracked on the one I drove. The “buttons” for radio and climate controls are hidden and easy to miss. It’s a 4-seater only since the battery basically runs down the middle of the car. Didn’t look like much room for a rear-facing toddler seat, but to be fair, didn’t try to install it. It IS very cool to have the AC blasting at the stop light with no engine noise. Cool!

fwj on August 3, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Chevy needs a better Huckster.

Someone like this might work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNVQJ1o8P7U

And for Bleu States like his home state of Massachusetts, as well as CT, NY, IL, MN, WI, HI and CA, we have the great Ernie Junior.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KD2DyR9uh68

Del Dolemonte on August 3, 2011 at 10:16 PM

It’s only a matter of time when GM will reinvent the Yugo or the Trabi. That’s what socialism is all about.

Special Forces Grunt on August 3, 2011 at 10:19 PM

And as the crowds drive past the little flat car
You know they saved a lot of gas but they didn’t get far
In a Yugo Chevy Volt
And as they’re trapped inside…

mike_NC9 on August 3, 2011 at 10:34 PM

I suspect the actual sales to ‘real’ consumers are even worse. I have read that there have been some ersatz ‘sales’ between dealerships designed to take advantage of some tax incentives. And it would not be an easy task to track down but I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these sales could be traced back to Federal execs or govt contractors.

I mean really, who in their right mind would pay that kind of money for that kind of government/union designed car. Yikes!

DaMav on August 3, 2011 at 10:40 PM

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 69% say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40% who say this is Very Likely. Twenty-two percent (22%) don’t think it’s likely some scientists have falsified global warming data, including just six percent (6%) say it’s Not At All Likely. Another 10% are undecided.

I see a consensus forming

J_Crater on August 3, 2011 at 11:14 PM

How many sold to the goverment?

Schadenfreude on August 4, 2011 at 12:00 AM

Next, The Big Government Steam Car!

profitsbeard on August 4, 2011 at 12:53 AM

GM had sold only 281 Volts that month

Yeah nobody want’s this crap. You can’t go anywhere !

tx2654 on August 4, 2011 at 1:00 AM

Gee… I’ll bet that soon they’ll sell enough of these to get the real taxpayer funded cost below $500,000 per.
-

RalphyBoy on August 4, 2011 at 1:50 AM

That many? Surprised it wasn’t less. Fool and his/her money, etc, etc…

kim roy on August 4, 2011 at 2:15 AM

As a conservative/libertarian guy it pains me to see right wingers make inaccurate claims about the Volt. It may pan out, it may not, but right now the data just isn’t in.

Ronnie Schreiber
Cars In Depth

rokemronnie on August 3, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Me, too. But I think the data is in. The ~ 3,200 Volts sold so far have spent an average of 13 days at the dealership, including prep time. I think once people test drive these cars they won’t be able to build them fast enough. They’re ramping up to 5000/ mo. in Jan 2012.

silverfox on August 4, 2011 at 3:16 AM

If your work commute is a short one, you’re in business. And even if it isn’t, with gas at $4 per gallon, the ten grand you save on the Prius will pay for 127,000 miles of driving on gas power. Japan wins again.

Like Jay Leno said, the Prius is yesterday’s technology. Toyota is just playing the cards they got left, and that aint much. The Volt is nowhere near the maturity of the economy of scale that the Prius has, but it’s peak has passed. The plug-in Prius is just a reaction to the Volt. Just a couple of years ago, Toyota was dismissing the viability of plug-in cars and lithium-ion batteries as not-ready-for-prime-time.

The more natural competitor for the Volt will be Ford’s new C-Max Energi. It will, unlike Prius, have a lithium-ion battery the same size as the Volt. It will be all-electric for speeds up to freeway speed, reportedly. So instead of the first part of your day being all-electric, 35-40 miles, it will be the first part of your accelerations. In a substantial way, not like what the PiP (plug in prius) will be or what the Ford Escape hybrid does now. So that’s Ford’s way of getting around GM’s Voltec patents.

silverfox on August 4, 2011 at 3:37 AM

The only way this thing gets to 88 mph is if you drop it out of an airplane.

How about dropping through the corkscrew at Laguna Seca ?

silverfox on August 4, 2011 at 4:06 AM

The only way this thing gets to 88 mph is if you drop it out of an airplane.

Meric1837 on August 3, 2011 at 8:10 PM

LOL. I absolutely expect to see that on Youtube soon. Might be tougher to skydive in because it’s not a convertible, but someone will figure it out. I just hope they have good video of that POS “landing”.

SKYFOX on August 4, 2011 at 5:45 AM

Whose bright idea was to bring this turkey to the market? I am happy with my ten year old BMW that gets 30mph and cost less that this turkey.

SC.Charlie on August 4, 2011 at 6:16 AM

silverfox on August 4, 2011 at 3:16 AM

I knew you’d show up sooner or later. Same question I asked last thread dealing with this piece of crap. Have you bought one yet? Have you put your money where your mouth is or are you still just spouting drivel? You keep shilling for this thing but it doesn’t seem like you’re willing to put your own money on the line. Let us know when you buy one.

Oldnuke on August 4, 2011 at 7:25 AM

How many sold to the Government.. err I mean GE. Err.. Whatever.

James on August 4, 2011 at 8:00 AM

The Øbama green energy plan is to charge your all electric vehicle while you sleep using solar power.

Dasher on August 4, 2011 at 8:04 AM

I did some rough calculations regarding these wonderful new electric cars….

I drive to DC often, and if one takes the electrics on the market today, a trip from Michigan/Ohio to Washington DC would take between three and seven days…IF…there were re-energizing stations available the entire route.

But there are few if any in this neck of the woods.

The other consideration is price. If I need a local commuter/shopping car, then one of these electrics might fill the bill…but when you look at the price, spending between $35-$60k for a second car just doesn’t make sense. I can get an older used compact or sub-compact with one of those tied and true internal combustion engines around here for between a few hundred to about $2k, good for a knockaround car, minimum insurance coverage, decent gas mileage.

Speaking of insurance on these new electrics…talk to your insurance company, that info alone might dissuade you from buying.

coldwarrior on August 4, 2011 at 8:07 AM

What drives me nuts is that I want to consider a hybrid because of the gas prices, but can’t do it because I would be viewed as an Obama supporter–or worse, I might add to the dangerous level of smug…http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s10e02-smug-alert

RedSoxNation on August 4, 2011 at 8:26 AM

So GM is retooling for upgrades?

I say they need some Truck Nutz!!!! That will do it!!!

Free Indeed on August 4, 2011 at 8:53 AM

Nissan sold 931 all-electric battery-powered Leafs in July, bringing the total number of electric cars the company has sold to 4,806. General Motors only sold 125 Volts after shutting down its Detroit-based plant to retool it, bringing its total vehicles shipped to 2,870. General Motors expects to sell around 16,000 Volts by the end of the year now that the plant has re-opened…

The retooling is a major deal, because they’re adding the Malibu and Impala, which are built on two completely different platforms. They only sold 125 cars because they didn’t have any to sell. Read this article for some persepective:

http://www.autoblog.com/2011/08/03/nissan-leaf-still-holding-sales-edge-over-chevy-volt/

According to a GM spokesman recently:

We are virtually sold out. Only about 100 2011 Volts [are] left in stock. On average, each Volt spent about 13 days at the dealership. This includes prepping it for delivery.

and this:

http://www.autoblog.com/2011/05/25/gm-adding-2-500-jobs-at-detroit-hamtramck-plant-for-malibu-and-i/

So give the Volt a break already. It may be a new car, but it was in development waaaaay before Obama was elected.

Ward Cleaver on August 4, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi Style gets 87 MPG – but you can’t buy it in the US. Wonder why not? These aren’t your grand-daddy’s diesel Mercedes. I drove one while on vacation in Europe – very fun to drive – turbo spins up giving you lots of power for merging and passing. Affordable enough that 50% of new cars sold in Europe have these turbo-diesels under the hood.

Diesel-powered cars have been popular in France for over 20 years now. They are more expensive to buy, but can run much farther per gallon of fuel than gasoline-powered cars. The French government encourages use of diesel-powered cars by charging higher excise taxes on gasoline than diesel fuel, which makes diesel fuel cheaper at the pump than gasoline, even though it is more expensive to produce.

Diesel engines are usually more efficient than gasoline engines (which is why most large trucks use diesel engines), but they do have the disadvantage of producing more sulfur dioxide and particulate (soot and unburned polycyclic hydrocarbons) emissions than gasoline engines (the black smoke you see when a big Mack truck accelerates).

It’s also possible that French emissions standards on cars are more lax than EPA standards (French gasoline-powered cars didn’t require catalytic converters until the early 1990′s) and it is easier to build a clean-burning gasoline engine than a clean-burning diesel engine.

But if the goal is to reduce dependence on foreign oil for transportation, switching from gasoline to diesel-powered vehicles could cut consumption, if the environmental issues can be worked out on a level playing-field. If Ford (a still-private American company) can build and sell a 60-mpg diesel-powered car in Europe, why not here?

Steve Z on August 4, 2011 at 10:52 AM

people talking about the Volt have no, none, zip, nada, zilch experience with it.
 
rokemronnie on August 3, 2011 at 9:26 PM

 
Which doesn’t matter at all since it’s understood that we’re expressing opinions. We’ve never been president, on a debt-ceiling panel, or governor of Alaska either. Shall we not discuss them?
 
Anyway, back to cars:
 

It handles decently, is quicker than expected, and the powertrain works seamlessly.
 
rokemronnie on August 3, 2011 at 9:26 PM

 
Yep, they finally slightly bested the dynamics of the (30mpg) 1985 Chevy Celebrity Eurosport.
 
In all honesty, the Volt performs as well as other modern, slowish, sub-$20k cars. Which is probably its job. It just doesn’t perform to the level I, and my family, require, especially in a $40k+ car.
 

The only way this thing gets to 88 mph is if you drop it out of an airplane.

 
How about dropping through the corkscrew at Laguna Seca ?
 
silverfox on August 4, 2011 at 4:06 AM

 
Seriously? You’re claiming the Volt took the Corkscrew at 88mph?
 
We know you like the car, but please don’t blatantly lie about it.

rogerb on August 4, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Putting aside tax credits and bailouts it’s an impressive bit of engineering. I’m no fan of Obama but I know a thing or two about cars and the Volt is a cool car. Is it worth the money with or without the tax credit? That’s up to you to decide if you want to buy one. Is Al Jolson’s Packard really worth $1.1 million? I suppose it was for the person who bought it last week. Don’t let your distaste for Obama and the bailout to obscure reality.

Ronnie Schreiber
Cars In Depth

rokemronnie on August 3, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Thanks for posting, Ronnie. I dig the 3D videos on your site.

Ward Cleaver on August 4, 2011 at 11:25 AM

What drives me nuts is that I want to consider a hybrid because of the gas prices, but can’t do it because I would be viewed as an Obama supporter–or worse, I might add to the dangerous level of smug…http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s10e02-smug-alert

RedSoxNation on August 4, 2011 at 8:26 AM

I have some friends that own two of them (the husband is a retired AF Lt. Col.), and they’re covered with pro-life bumper stickers.

Ward Cleaver on August 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Seriously? You’re claiming the Volt took the Corkscrew at 88mph?

We know you like the car, but please don’t blatantly lie about it.

rogerb on August 4, 2011 at 10:57 AM

He didn’t say that it went through the Corkscrew at 88mph. Just watch the video. It handles the Corkscrew decently (no crashing onto the bump stops).

Ward Cleaver on August 4, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Sure, laugh at it, but little Bammie’s 54.5 or 56.2 or whatever means that this is all that the dealers will have if you want a regular car. The prices of all other vehicles will be jacked high enough to keep you from buying one, whatever that $ number is. Some of the profit there will be applied against likely losses selling the tiny clown cars.

Playing the mix game, and forcing the numbers through pricing is the only way the car companies can get to the averages demanded by the D!ck.

slickwillie2001 on August 3, 2011 at 8:48 PM

Your exactly correct. I went to buy a new pickup and Dodge charges nearly $2000 for the V8 option. You know the difference in cost of “swapping” a V6 for a V8 doesn’t cost Dodge anywhere near $2000 more. I then spoke to a Dodge representative about this, and he said that the prices for the less fuel efficient options are indeed punitive.

So if you are rich, you can buy the less fuel efficient vehicles/options. But it your a poor middle class guy, you get screwed again. Just like the Democrat party, always looking after the little guy!!

JeffVader on August 4, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Nice little corporate put down the day before quarterly results are posted.

Did someone ask you to write about this? The GM group is doing healthy business since restructuring.

lexhamfox on August 4, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Unexpectedly, I presume? This car is a flop and a failure on the scale of the Ford Edsel.

Greek Fire on August 3, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Actually, at the present rate (125/month), the Chevy Volt is going to be lucky to achieve 2% of the first-year Edsel sales (63,110)!!! And people actually drove Edsels (I personally have ridden in several of them): you could take them on all-day outings without spending more than a few minutes to refuel.

So the Edsel was a resounding success compared to the dismal and useless Volt!!!

landlines on August 4, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Oldnuke,

I have test driven it twice. I even called the IRS to see if the tax credit applies to past debt ( my wife and I made a mistake 2 years in a row and got refunds we weren’t supposed to, so we are in the hole for more than the electric car tax cut ). It doesn’t. You have to owe that much in the year you buy the car. So it can’t be applied to past IRS debt.

But it only works as a second car to me cos I have 3 kids.
So as much as I want it, it’s not the best solution for my situation.
There’s a crossover 5 seater in the works that GM has hinted will be introduced at the NA car show in Detroit in January …

silverfox on August 4, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Landlines, the volt runs on gas… You could start driving to Alaska tomorrow if you wanted to go.

silverfox on August 4, 2011 at 2:03 PM

silverfox on August 4, 2011 at 1:57 PM

So you agree that:

It’s too expensive for what you get.
Will not be suitable for most people in the US.
Is not viable without taxpayers picking up a significant portion of the cost.

Oldnuke on August 4, 2011 at 4:39 PM

“We’re On The Highway To Hell” – AC/D(N)C

Teddy on August 4, 2011 at 5:12 PM

I am taking a chance that some gubment spy censors public blogs and reads my post.

I can see going to rail being followed by converting the navy back to sailing vessels. Sailboats. How sustainable. Can you imagine a little sailing fleet with canons even attacking a small craft of somali Pirates?

If they convert to sailing, i will feel terrible.

seven on August 4, 2011 at 6:36 PM

He didn’t say that it went through the Corkscrew at 88mph. Just watch the video…
 
Ward Cleaver on August 4, 2011 at 11:38 AM

 
Please reread.
 
“How about” in response to “the only way” refers directly to 88mph.

rogerb on August 5, 2011 at 1:17 PM