During October General Motors quietly sold its 50,000th Chevrolet Volt in the United States.
The tally as of the end of last month was actually 50,240 but no press release has been issued that we’ve seen as of yet.
GM had initially projected U.S. Volt sales of 45,000 for 2012 but then cut that back to a benign non-projection that it would “match supply to demand” from the single assembly plant that produces the global car, Detroit-Hamtramck.
The Volt is an exceptionally awarded compact sedan, called a “moonshot” by Motor Trend, but out of the starting gate it became a magnet for unrelenting critics who seemingly found a car they enjoyed maligning as much as they disapproved of the sitting president.
It also faced arguably over-publicized concerns over a side-impact test threatening its battery, among other issues, and while it developed an equally enthusiastic fan base, that the Volt has been misunderstood or disliked by others whether justifiably or not is unquestionable.
Immediately following is a montage of just one of the more vociferous critics disseminating misinformation to a vast audience during 2011.
This year the 2014 Volt had its price cut by $5,000, for a starting MSRP of just under $35,000.
Now, and depending on a potential $7,500 federal tax credit, and state credits, and possibly dealer discounts too, a car that was “priced like a Cadillac” in the low-to-mid 40s can be netted by some fortunate consumers in the low-to-mid-20s.
Today at GM-Volt.com, an energy advocate MrEnergyCzar who posts here too was featured in his two-year review of the Volt which we’ll embed below.
More justifiable Volt nitpicks include it is rather tight in back seat space which is unfortunate for an ostensible commuter car, and its gas-only mileage is a decent-but-not-stellar 37 mpg according to the EPA, and it requires premium gas.
However, the ideal use for the singularly longest-electrically traveling plug in gas-electric car sold is to stay in the all-electric range most of the time, and here it really shines without equal.
But there is still mud in the water as you’ll see in MrEnergyCzar’s video in which he says the number one question he gets is “What happens when the battery depletes?”
Yes, nearly three years after its December 2010 launch, the “extended-range” EV with a generator that seamlessly kicks on remains a mystery to many.
And this has been our experience too – for too many the Volt is still not on the radar, or it may yet suffer from the vehemently bad vibes given after its introduction.
GM also has been criticized even by plug-in car advocates for not marketing the Volt like it means it, and while GM has teased a Voltec CUV concept, it’s made no announcements for Voltec spinoffs except the doubly expensive Cadillac ELR.
Our recommendation: Never mind the cloud of uncertainty, if you perceive one. Look closer, and do not disregard the Volt if its strong points can otherwise work for you.
It has twice topped Consumer Reports’ annual owner satisfaction survey, and jaded critics notwithstanding, the Volt is seriously loved by many who actually own and drive it.
And now better late than never, it has topped 50,000 units sold.
Yearly sales adding to the tally are 326 in the one month it was sold in 2010, 7,671 units sold in 2011, 23,461 units sold in 2012, and year to date this year, Chevrolet has delivered 18,782 Volts.
If it sells in the low 2,000s during November and December the Volt is on track to about equal its 2012 performance.
Perhaps that’s why GM is not beating the band in celebration like Nissan did in September when the Leaf crested past 35,000 units sold, and like Nissan does every time the up-and-coming Leaf crosses a milestone?
Shout out to: HybridCars.com reader, Mario Duran Ortiz.