The Chevy Volt promised to be one of the hottest cards of the 2010s. Preproduction models started to appear in the middle of 2009, and Chevy started selling the car to U.S. markets in December 2010. The car won numerous awards, including the 2011 North American Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and the award for 2011 World Green Car.
Many expected demand for the Volt to be high. General Motors had produced 12,400 Volts by December 2011. By December 2011, though, sales of the Volt in the United States and Canada had reached only 8,272 units. On March 2, 2012, General Motors announced that it would temporarily close the plant that has produced the Volt. The company announced that it expected to resume production in about five weeks.
Reviews of the Chevy Volt
Most reviews of the Volt have been positive, though some have raised a variety of concerns. A driver can go about 30 to 40 miles on a electricity alone, which is a positive. However, a driver’s habits along with weather changes will affect how long a single charge lasts. The car’s 1.4-liter engine also acts as a generator that will recharge the battery once the battery is depleted.
To recharge the Volt, an owner must plug it into a supply that looks something like a gasoline pump. It takes about four hours to charge the car on a 240-volt supply and about 10 hours to charge it on a 120-volt supply. Although plugging the car in seems simple enough, many of complained that it is a hassle they would rather avoid.
Here is a video review of the car, which also raises some additional concerns:
One owner commented: "When you get a car that runs on electricity and still has great styling you've got it all. This car handles beautifully on the road as well is in the city. A big car feel on a small car."
Chevy Volt Prices
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the 2011 Volt was $40,280. This price fell to $39,145 for the 2012 model. Both prices are slightly more than the Nissan Leaf, which is a similar car rated somewhat higher than the Volt. Several additional options are available that will push the price higher. A package featuring a rear camera and parking assistance runs $695, and various trim packages run at $1395.
Because the car is so new, it is difficult to gauge the values and prices of used versions. The highest price for a 2012 version on Cars.com was $45,995 for a fully loaded car with 426 miles. The least expensive used model was a 2011 Volt with 14,900 miles. It was listed at $22,700.
Chevy Volt News
Despite the generally good reviews, the price tag might be too high for the Volt. This GM car costs nearly twice as much as the Cruze Eco sedan, which gets about 40 miles to a gallon. The Wall Street Journal noted that buyers will pay more for a green car but expect to make up for the costs with gas savings. In the Volt’s case, it would take typical driver 12 years to recoup the extra costs.