One Year Chevy Volt Review Video By MrEnergyCzar

How healthy would the U.S. economy be if in five years from now, the average gas price was up to $7.25 per gallon – and with all indicators being it would not decline, and was still increasing?

Whether you believe this will happen – and if it does things will be OK or not – we’ve posted a video from MrEnergyCzar reviewing his first year owning the Chevy Volt, which can travel around 38 miles more or less on electric power – with gasoline backup.

Since it is a part-time electric vehicle, MrEnergyCzar got it primarily because the Volt is resistant to rising fuel costs, and is a hedge against the economic decline he and others have said could result if fuel prices do continue to rise beyond a sufficient tipping point.

Whatever your economic views, at least this much is undeniable: This society is dependent on petroleum which is used for much more than just making combustible fuels. It is used also in chemical manufacturing, and actually, nearly every man-made object we have in our modern lives has some tie-in to oil and its byproducts. Can you think of anything that doesn’t?

MrEnergyCzar says his motivation to buy a Volt was as part of his 10-year plan to prepare for the effects of how things could go considering most independent oil experts say conventional petroleum production peaked in 2006, and as for the U.S., that event happened in 1970.

peak_red_dot

Do you know what the red dot signifies?

He believes society won’t grow by burning more and more lower grade oil resources, like tar sands or heavy oil, that take more money and energy to extract and process.

“I cannot control oil geology, but I can mitigate some of the peak oil potential negative effects on my home, life and family with careful planning, change, persistence, sacrifice and perseverance,” says MrEnergyCzar. “In other words, I’m creating my own peak oil insurance policy.”

That’s his rationale, and he’s sticking to it. Whether your personal reasons to be interested in the Volt involve reducing carbon emissions, other pollutants, improving energy security, national security, patronizing an American business, or merely paying less in monthly gas bills, it does not really matter.

The one-year review video is otherwise informative for anyone, although its producer sees the car as a means to combating an end – of free-flowing and affordable oil, which he says is inevitable, the only question being when?

He is writing a book on the subject from which I reviewed an excerpt. It actually got my attention with straight facts evenly delivered. He has given this topic a lot of research, and his approach comes across as rational and his arguments are cogently presented, but I won’t give the book’s details away here.

As for how the Volt fits into the book’s storyline, like any car, the Volt also requires oil to build, but once it’s in your possession, it can conceivably use very little oil to run, which at least is half the battle.

Volt_dirt_road

MrEnergyCzar says he gets around 300 mpg in his Volt given he usually stays on electric power thus minimizing the need to draw from the fuel tank. And to get his electricity, he uses surplus solar generated juice from his utility free New England home along with charging at work via a donated charger. He adapted the way he lives to be in sync with the amount of power the sun provides for his home and car.

His approach to predicted petroleum decline and rising prices, he said, was not to put his head in the sand and deny. Nor was it to scream doom and gloom or head for the hills.

Instead, it was and is to slowly but progressively wean his lifestyle away from unnecessary consumption – while retaining a high quality of life in suburbia. So, assuming petroleum does become more and more scarce, he will not be caught short to the degree others will who did nothing.

His message is free for all, and he readily shares it on his Web site, Facebook, Twitter, other avenues, including YouTube – the latter of which, we’re posting one example of here.

While he does make a small income from his advocacy efforts, he says they have been mostly on him. His day job is in the helping profession with a nonprofit, and he says he’s a helper by nature. He spends many hours per month developing his social network to express what is essentially a sideline passion he’s researched extensively since 2007.

The 2011-2012 spec Volt as reviewed used a 16.0-kwh battery. Current 2013 models have an upgraded 16.5 kwh battery, are EPA rated at 38 instead of 35 miles all-electric range and 98 instead of 93 or 94 MPGe, but are otherwise essentially identical to the reviewed car.

MrEnergyCzar says he does not expect people to necessarily buy into all he says at once, but be forewarned, he has done his homework. He is also obviously intelligent, sane, and so … assuming you are too, he may be worth listening to more, if you’re not already in tune with his views.

And in any case, he gives a forthright Volt review from his personal perspective which does not require belief in anything except he – as have many others – says GM’s engineering has resulted in a competent extended-range electric car.


  • DuranArts

    I did a lot of research before meeting Czar on his channel. I’d advice everyone to do the same. It’s nice reasurance when trying to decide if the Volt is right for you.

    I’m currently crossing my fingers for a good lease deal. (1year) I figure it’s the smartest move right now considering GM has bigger plans for the Volt in 2014.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Thank you Jeff for the great article. Please share the video or article with those who are misinformed about the Volt……

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Mark brooks

    A nice piece, like the video! But not sure about the 7$ gas price by next summer, the oil industry in Canada is betting it will be around $6 a gallon next summer. (Current December Brent crude is bouncing between $110 – 120 a barrel)
    Predicting the price of oil is always tough, as it’s a world wide commodity that drives the worlds economies. Best guess by our Oil sands producers is $130 – $140 a barrel FLOOR price as the world economy recovers, which translates into about $6 gas next summer in the US, $1.60 a litre here in Toronto were I live.
    Before you challenge me on that, here is the logic:
    Another report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch says Canadian oil sands need an average per barrel price of $113 to BREAK EVEN. The days of sinking a well and standing back as it produces for 40 years are long gone, it cost real money to open and operate new oil supplies. The Oils sands is heavy stuff which always go’s for a discount over the sweet stuff and thanks to the lack of a pipeline capacity you need to add in a further 20% due to transportation costs to get an idea of what the world prices needs to be doing. So that means we are looking at world $140 barrel FLOOR price just to keep the oil sands growing as projected.
    As the Canadian oil sands subsides are a thing of the past (as a Canadian tax payer, all I can say is thank god), this means that a lot of Canadian oil execs are betting hundreds of billions of dollars and their careers on triple digit oil prices.
    The issue really isn’t supply, after all at $400 a barrel we can dig up half of Alberta profitably. Its production costs.
    But look at the bright side: hundreds of millions of people in India and China and other once desperately poor parts of the world are being liberated from millennia of suffering and serfdom. Why? Because of the western economies (especially the United States), has spread its idea of economic freedom—and its purchasing power—around the world.
    Welcome to the future our economic and political success has created!
    Now its time to get a whole lot more efficient in how we use that oil, or get rolled over by the new economic powers we just helped create!
    Translation: I bought my volt a year ago too…

  • c_harnett

    Interesting. I’d let it go, except for the gratuitous swipes at the hybrid car that actually sells, which annoys me enough to respond.

    The battery degradation is still speculative. It might be better and it might be worse. Toyota’s NiMH chemistry, widely dissed by GM and Volt fanboys, is proven with almost 15 years of service. Every one of my Li-Ion devices suffers significant battery degradation at the 2-3 year mark and many of them don’t last 5 years.

    I bought a Prius this summer. If I had bought a Volt:
    - I’d be out an extra $9K on the purchase.
    - I would have spent an extra $35 on gas.

    For some driving patterns, the Volt, since it’s heavy, with mediocre Cd and unimpressive DBFE (Dead Battery Fuel Economy) is a veyr poor choice. On long road trips, at speeds significantly in excess of the legal limit, our Prius gets 52mpg. Every mile one takes a Volt beyond the basic EV range, runs the savings meter backwards.

    For people with short commutes (me for example, at 2.7 miles, because I have long cared about energy consumption) or people who can readily use mass transit, the Volt makes little sense. For me, on a daily basis, a Volt would avoid about an eighth of a gallon of fuel. Over the 250 or so workdays, that’s 30 gallons per year or 300 gallons over a 10 year lifespan for the vehicle.

    Given the extra $9K that I would have had to spend to get the Volt, that’s $30 per gallon of gas avoided. Society as a whole would have kicked in another $25/gallon. That’s pretty expensive gas!

    It’s interesting to consider, too, the actual costs of MrEnergyCzar’s Volt, and how they are spread across the rest of the population.

    - The most obvious cost to the general population is the $7500 tax credit.
    - The solar panels probably received a significant tax credit, the rate structure is likely adjusted to favor home production.
    - The charger at work – did MrEnergyCzar pay for that himself or did his employer provide a $2K charger – or is MrEnergyCzar self-employed and wrote it off as a business expense to favor his own personal income?

    Then there were hundreds of millions in subsidies and tax benefits to GM to get the Volt developed, the battery test center running and D-HAM into production.

    I’ve driven a Volt, myself. Heavy, cramped and very little cargo room. More excellent reasons to get a Prius.

    It’s time to stop talking about how wonderful the Volt is and, for people who care about how much CO2 we emit and how much oil we consume, start lobbying for increases in Carbon taxes. The Volt is never going to sell well and other companies won’t offer more competitive solutions until the playing field has been leveled to stop favoring fossil fuel.

  • Jimothy

    I’d rather have a sonata hybrid than ANY CHEVY PRODUCY

  • Reid H

    Charlie H wrote:
    “I bought a Prius this summer. If I had bought a Volt:
    - I’d be out an extra $9K on the purchase.”

    I bought a 2010 Prius when they first came out. I’ve got a 2013 Volt on order. After federal tax credits (that I also received on our 05 Prius when we bought it), I’ll be paying $500 more for the Volt than I did the Prius.

    It’s true if you do a lot of road trips instead of around town commuting that a Prius will use less fuel. If, on the other hand, most miles are commuting then an additional $500 will be quickly recovered. It’s more than just $$ though. It’s about reducing carbon emissions and our dependence on foreign oil.

  • ACAgal

    I’ve only had 4 months with out Volt. We have never run on gas, and usually get in the mid-40′smiles/charge with 400 lbs of adults. We expected 38mpc, which is abot what we get with an 800lb load.

    We have solar, on our house and the recharge system has still left us at net zero=/- one month when the house may require a tad too much AC.

    I drove the Prius first and found it sluggish. The Volt is built tall enough that my 6’4″ son sits in the back, whereas, I used to sit there in our SUV. The storage area is deep, and handles two weeks work of Costco shopping very well. I wouldn’t use it for a HD run where I was carrying drywall, plywood, cabinets etc, but it is fine for picking up folks at the local airport + luggage. Mostly it is fun to drive. Great turning radius, very responsive and more fun to drive than I ever expected, or have found in any other car I have test driven, or owned….as for Prius, not even a close second!

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    I guess it is always sensitive subject when it is Prius vs. Volt arguement.

    Charles H wrote: “The battery degradation is still speculative. It might be better and it might be worse. Toyota’s NiMH chemistry, widely dissed by GM and Volt fanboys, is proven with almost 15 years of service. “

    Well, Volt’s battery is warrantied by defect AND capacity for 10yr/150k miles. Your Prius doesn’t warranty any capacity, especially in the PIP.

    “Every one of my Li-Ion devices suffers significant battery degradation at the 2-3 year mark and many of them don’t last 5 years.”

    Well, comparing your “basic” electronic Li-ion with Car’s Li-ion is stupid. They are different in terms of “buffer” design and operating condition. First of all, using NIMH in cars for long range is IMPOSSIBLE. it will be too heavy and its power/energy density is inferior. That is why even Toyota are using Li-ion in its plugin Prius.

    Also, Li-ion is more “delicate” than NiMH due to its energy density. Its temperature range are also slightly tighter. That is why how you keep the battery condition matters.

    BTW, Most of my Li-ion devices at home, MP3, Laptop and Cellphone are all over 5 years old and still operate just fine. Maybe it is the user instead of the battery. That is also why most EVs today has a very complext battery management system to prevent users from “abusing” the battery. Volt is also only using 11/16 of its battery for this reason.

    “I bought a Prius this summer. If I had bought a Volt:
    - I’d be out an extra $9K on the purchase.
    - I would have spent an extra $35 on gas.”

    Well, If I had bought a Prius, I would have to spend extra $700 in gas each year. The point is that NOT a single car fits EVERYONE’s use model. 70% American commute less than 40 miles per day. That is why Volt is designed to operate as such. Will it fit your driving style? No. That is why there are choices…
    Sure, you value cargo room and spaces. But as heavy as the Volt is due to battery, it still “spank” your favorite Prius in just about all performance area, braking, handling, 0-60mph, 1/4 miles, noise level… comparing to Prius Plugin, it is even more superior. Since PIP is only 4 star rated in safety.

    Now, let us talk about price. Your figure of $9k is before all the incentives. After incentives for a comparable equipped Prius, it is only $4k-$5k difference. In my driving style, it will be made up in 6-7 years. In those 6-7 years I get enjoy a much better performing car.

    As far as tax incentives go, stop the whining, people get tax incentives for having kids, making charity donations, having an education loan, buying a house…etc. Having an clean EV is a good thing. It will spare more gas for you to burn AND keep the air clean while you breath it.

    With all that said, Prius is a good car. That is why it is popular and often used as a “benchmark” to judge against. Many people have made the statement that Prius led us into the hybrid world, and now Volt and Leaf are leading us into the plugin world. Many of the EV supporters are frustrated with Toyota’s effort (or lack of) into EV/plugin, especially with its poor attempt of Prius Plugin.

    At the end of the day, you are already better than people who are driving Sequoia and Tundra just so they can look cool….

  • kdawg

    Why would anyone compare a Prius to Volt? Hey, my skateboard gets better mpg than a Prius?!

    I could go through and debunk every myth that spewed like diarrhea from your keyboard, but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the readers, that they have the intelligence not to swallow any of it.

    Good luck w/your ….. er.. car.

  • kdawg

    I think there’s an echo in here?

  • sean t

    Horses for courses.
    It all depends on your driving patterns.
    This topic has been discussed in depth many times.
    No car is the silver bullet.

  • dignon

    After over a year of driving and 20k miles, my Volt has a lifetime 135 MPG and my daily commute is about 65 miles. Last year I saved $2200 in gas and spent $330 in electricity.

    When the on-board gas powered electric generator is used, I’m getting 45 MPG. Agreed, not as high as a Prius, but not shabby by any means.

    The Volts batteries are warranted for 8 years, 100,000 miles. Time will tell how many years after that they will last, but test results indicate 15-16 years is not unreasonable.

    For a Prius owner to complain about the Volt’s weight is a little funny. Care to race?

    The Volt’s 273 lb-ft of instant torque at 0 RPM will leave the Prius in my rear view mirror looking like a light-weight contender. The Volt’s low center of gravity allows it to handle corners much like a BMW 3 series, something no one has ever compared a “pushed around by wind” Prius too! The added weight also results in the Volt performing like a mid-sized car in crash tests.

  • likemboth

    I own both the Prius and Volt, the Volt is a better driver, athletic and quiet getting 40mpg on gas only, lifetime overall 107mpg. The Prius is not near as nice a driver with wheezy noisy power and vague handling, but still not a bad car that gets 50mpg. Both 40 and 50mpg are fine achievements in economy, 107 is amazing.

    After 40mpg the cost of gas is not the primary concern at $4/gal. The Volt is the first of a wave of new plugins that will be cost competitive some years in the future.

    Once people ride in an electric car, petrol cars will seem crude and dated. I loath when when the Volt gas engine comes on.

    I got a Volt because I love the ride an electric care gives you and I despair the lives lost defending our oil economy.

    The question is not Volt or Prius, it is making a commitment to change our oil economy as we have the ability.

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    @kdawg,

    I have no idea whom your comment is directed at…

    But comparing Prius to a Volt is usually what a Prius owner do in terms of “bashing” the Volt…

  • DownUnder

    MMF,
    I think it’s the other way around.

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    @sean t,

    Volt owners usually compare with Leaf or Prius Plugin but rarely compares with Prius. However, many Volt fans have to “defend” Volt b/c many critics use Prius as “examples” of why Volt has “failed” or why Volt’s efficiency is NOT as good. or Volt only selling a few while there are millions of Prius.

    Volt’s 37mpg is often brought again Prius’s 50 mpg while Volt blows away Prius in performance and it is designed to be EV first and hybrid second…

    The only time Prius vs. Volt comparison usually come up is the fact that Prius had “tough time” in its early days just as Volt does now….

    If you don’t believe me, look back on all the comments, Prius was always brought up first…

  • hybridhybrid

    Why compare? Until now prius is still the best selling hybrid in the market and that is all that matters to Toyota. I don’t think they even give a damn about the volt. They have ford to worry about now.

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    @hybridhybrid,

    I agree with you to some extent, but apparently the Prius buyers are so “worried” that they have to bring up Prius in every article that has anything to do with Volt…

    Toyota has no desires in doing anything electric… That is the truth.

  • Capt. Concernicus

    @ MMF,

    I think you just like to hear yourself talk.

    GM is the one that came out and said the Volt is the Prius fighter and so most Volt owners continue with their bashing of the Prius.

    Prius owners don’t need and won’t call the Prius a Volt fighter. We don’t have to. We’ve got the sales numbers on our side that show we are doing very well.

    Thank you for your time,
    A Prius owner

  • Cineman

    I just test drove a C-Max yesterday. Now that is a Prius fighter! Six units had just arrived on the lot in North Hollywood. When I bought my 2007 Escape HEV I had to drive 200 miles to find a dealership with any selection. Look out Toyota!

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    @Capt. Concernicus,

    You Prius owners are so clueless.

    GM never said the Volt was a Prius fighter. It was designed to be next generation of technology. Prius was still mainly a gas hybrid. olt is designed from ground up to be EV with a secondary gas hybrid as backup. Its main stab was aimed at Leaf the all Electric vehicle and its design were aimed at Tesla in some way. Read Volt’s development story and you will understand.

    The only time that GM brought out the Prius was the fact that “biggest” trade in for Volt are Prius. That is due to many Prius owners who want to migrate to the next generation of technology.

    Certainly Volt and Prius aren’t in the same class. B/c Volt is NOT the car that tolerate slow acceleration, poor handling and braking… Prius is nothing but a MPG box…

    You love your Prius and I love my Volt. I like your front bumper view in my rearview mirror.

  • John D.

    There is only one problem: Today’s gas price is tomorrow’s electric rate.

    We just got a heck of an electric rate jump from PECO with a promise it will go up again next year.

    Until we can solve the “front end” (energy source) of this problem, the best we can do is to work on greater efficiency on the “back end.” (energy use)

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Thanks for all the great comments.

    Very few people have the same oil weaning goal as I do which is to use the least amount of oil to drive without range anxiety, up to 40K cost. Based on my driving patterns, I’d have to purchase more than 5 times the amount of gas, 230 gallons more per year, in a Prius. I know burning 2,000 more gallons in 9 years doesn’t seem like much to most but it does to me…

    The Prius is still a great car. It’s owner satisfaction was above 80% versus the Volt’s #1 ranking of 93%. Porche 911 was tied for second with the Dodge Challenger at 91%.

    You still get about 13 miles per dollar in a Prius. The average Volt driver (without solar) that pays for electricity gets about 25-30 miles per dollar….

    MrEnergyCzar

  • sean t

    MMF,

    From this article, I can say that Volt’s owners want to compare against Prius more than the other way around. Mr Energyczar in the video clip and in text, tries to compare his Volt vs Prius more than once. I don’t say it’s bad but that’s the fact.
    Disclaimers: I don’t own a Prius or a Volt.

  • sean t

    From the Sep 2012 Dashboard, the Volt is doing well.
    After 3-4 years, with a proven track record, people will start buying more.

  • c_harnett

    ModernMarvelFan: “Well, If I had bought a Prius, I would have to spend extra $700 in gas each year. The point is that NOT a single car fits EVERYONE’s use model. 70% American commute less than 40 miles per day”

    Really? Then perhaps MrEnergyCzar shouldn’t carry on as though the Volt IS for everyone.

    As for the rest of you lengthy screed; performance, handling, etc… have a day. The Prius is the car that *sells.* Toyota has managed to develop a market and makes money doing it. GM can’t sell significant quantities of the Volt, even with $7500, minimum, from the taxpayers, and it’s far from certain that they make any money doing it (in fact, it’s highly unlikely… in addition to Bob Lutz’ own forecast that the would lose money on it for years, the frequent shutdowns of D-HAM tell us that GM’s plans are not going as they forecast).

    Reid H, you should look at the equipment available on Priuses today. it includes things you can not get on a Volt. Not that it matters to me. I’m perfectly happy with a basic Prius with minimal stuff; I don’t have an exaggerated sense of my “needs” in a car.

    ModernMarvelFan also wrote, “GM never said the Volt was a Prius fighter.”

    You know, that highlights the curious thing about GM. The Prius has been on US roads for over a decade, is the #1 selling car in Japan, does pretty well here, shows what’s necessary to build a hybird that sells and, after all this time, remains unanswered by GM. Sure, GM has “leapfrogged” the Prius… all the way to a car that sells in minimal quantities and then only when accompanied by massive taxpayer gifts. So, one wonders, “What’s wrong with GM that they can’t build a competitive hybrid?”

  • Wells Soup

    As the Volt battery lightens and becomes more efficient is will (again) blow any Prius away. As well as support US jobs. Don’t be an outsourcing Romney!

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    @Charles H.

    Okay, you started the comparison.

    Volt has been released for less than 3 years. It has sold more than Prius did in its “first 3 years”.

    Currently, it sells more than the entire Plugin market is combined. (The rest of the plugin market all get the $7,500 unless you are the Prius and C-Max PHEV). Prius had its shares of incentives as well in its early launch days and certainly had WAY LESS critics.

    Now, the current Prius is a good car and it is selling well. But Prius Plugin is a very “poor attempt” by Toyota.

    Comparing Prius to Volt is like Comparing Camry to BMW 3-series.

    A lowered priced “main stream” family car will sell better than a higher technology, higher performance and higher priced vehicle.

    Sure, give Toyota credit for launching Prius. It pushed the auto market into hybrid world. I am hoping Volt will do the same and push people into “EV” market (Volt does it with a large step without owners worrying about range). As we have seen over and over again, Toyota has NO desire of seriously entering any kind of EV market and WE HAVE NO DATA OR IDEA of how long did it take for Toyota to make money on the Prius family or its design.

    It was a Billion dollar “long term” investment by Toyota 14 years ago….

  • c_harnett

    ModernMarvelFan, who does not know when to leave well enough alone, wrote: “Volt has been released for less than 3 years. It has sold more than Prius did in its “first 3 years”. “

    Sure, go there.

    – Did the gen 1 Prius get $7500 in federal tax givebacks? Answer: No.
    – Was it priced at over twice the price of a regular compact car? Answer: No.
    – Was that over a decade ago? Answer: Yes.
    – Did Toyota have the experience of being able to read successes and failures in the gas-electric market for a decade, to determine what would and would not sell? Answer: No.
    – Was the gen 1 Prius their third (or fourth, or fifth, depending on how you count it) attempt at a gas-electric vehicle? Answer: No. But the Volt is GM’s fifth try (2004 non-selling Silverado with BAS, 2008 non-selling SUVs with Two-Mode hybrid, 2008 BAS Epsilons and 2008 Saturn Vue Green Line BAS)
    – Did consumers have any familiarity with gas-electric vehicles? Answer: No.
    – Was gas selling for nearly $4? Answer: No, it was much less expensive.
    – Did Toyota fiddle around with dealer allocations in an effort to confuse people as to whether or not the thing was in demand? Answer: No… but GM sure did. Toyota had interested customers sign up on the web and routed cars to whoever ended up ordering one.
    – Did they over-promise and under-deliver (50/50/600, nicely under $30K)? Answer: No. Toyota said very little about the car until it a couple months before it hit the streets.

    So, yeah, the Volt to the Gen 1 Prius is a great comparison. Except that there’s no comparison. The gas price and federal giveback differentials alone make it a ridiculous desperation play on the part of Volt FanBoyz.

    Now, the Prius PHV to the Volt, that would be a much more relevant comparison. The product introductions were only about 16 months apart, they’re the same kind of vehicle, fuel prices are comparable and the Prius PHV gets a tax rebate (smaller but it also has less range). The consumers have more understanding of what gas-electric cars are all about. Why don’t you go get the sales numbers and compare the first 8 or so months of the Prius PHV to the first 8 or so months of the Volt and let me know what you find?

  • c_harnett

    MMF: ” WE HAVE NO DATA OR IDEA of how long did it take for Toyota to make money on the Prius family or its design.”

    I meant to address that.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2001/dec/19/autos/hy-prius19

    And did you look up the comparative sales of the PHV and the Volt, yet? As it happens, I do happen to have the figures on hand:

    Volt Dec 2010 through Jun 2011 – 3071
    PHV March 2012 through Sep 2012 – 7734

    These are US-only figures. Not that any Volts were sold overseas in that time period but the PHV has been selling in Japan since Feb.

    “Prius had its shares of incentives as well in its early launch days and certainly had WAY LESS critics.”

    As to the incentives, no. At launch, nothing. Shortly after, a tax DEDUCTION that worked out to about a $600-700 benefit was introduced. The Federal Volt Candy is ten times that amount. Prius sales took off before the next phase of credits, which were serious, kicked in. Prius sales took off when the Gen II Prius showed up, because it was a highly practical little car and Toyota was getting the price under control.

    And, as for critics… As GM sows, so shall GM reap. GM honked on and on and on about this car for almost four solid years. It would “leapfrog Toyota,” it would get 50/50/600, “nicely under $30K,” El Lutzbo could be found in the press, whining that Toyota was dissing GM’s car (Toyota didn’t) and making other inane remarks on a weekly basis. They had a Volt Advisory Board before they had a Volt. When the car finally hit the streets… many of GM’s initial claims were unfulfilled. That’s the kind of thing that leads to backlash.

    Toyota kept its mouth shut and delivered what they could deliver. People didn’t get excited over what they didn’t get, they just looked to see what they could get and found that it was an interesting and useful advance in automotive technology. GM could learn from that. EL Lutzbo could take advice from Mark Twain:

    “Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.”

  • Capt. Concernicus

    @ MMF,

    Please keep the jokes running. I like a good laugh in the morning.

    Just remember once that 35 mile EV range runs out you’re toast. The Volt becomes a very expensive econobox with it’s 37mpg rating that can be beat by the Hyundai Accent, Ford Focus, Chevy Cruze Eco for half the money. There’s your POS right there. Oh and once you run out of that battery charge you’ll be filling up every 350 miles or less. Me? Well I’ll keep on filling up every 500+ miles because I’ll consistently pull down the same mpg’s. Oh and don’t forget my Prius comes with more features for less money.
    And that whole “you’ll see my front bumper in your rearview” comment? Not likely my friend. In fact, in the long run the Prius has a higher top end. I keep listing more Volt beating facts if you like.

    Oh and the Prius outsold the Volt in it’s first 3 years vs. the Volt’s 3 years. You may want to recheck your facts on that.

    No one likes a sore loser especially one that continues to lie and twist the truth.

    So shut your piehole son.

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    @ Charlie H,

    Maybe you need to learn to read a few thing about your own link…

    Your LA times links said it the best: “Though the cars are no longer sold at a loss, profit from sales remains insufficient for Toyota to recoup its initial investment and development costs, General Manager Shigenobu Uchikawa said.”

    So, even according to the Reuter’s article that Volt is only losing money b/c its inital $1.2Billion Investment. It is currently making money on a per car basis without including the R&D and tooling cost. Now, IN YOUR SAME link, Toyota admit that it didn’t even reach breakeven point (outside of the R&D investment) until it reaches 75,000 units. According to the same critical Reuter’s article, Volt would be close to breaking even at 75,000 units with its initial R&D investment.

    Maybe you need to read your own crap before you post again.

    As far as Prius to Volt comparison. Did Prius receive so much “hate” during its initial phase? NO. Volt has to face many “non-issue” hate from the start. From a technology point of view, Volt is the GM’s first attempt of building a series-hybrid or EV with extender range. Volt is built from ground up as an EV. Its main power source is Electric motor. Engine is only there to supplement. Even when it does help power the wheel, it is at 70mph+ in range extended mode.

    Now, as far as Prius Plugin vs. Volt sales comparison go, Volt sales have been helpped ever since HOV access is approved which PIP gets from the start of the launch. In just about every month except for one, Volt has dominated PIP in sales ever since PIP launches.

    Volt didn’t get the HOV access in California until March this year. Prius I and Prius II had a huge HOV access base since the beginning. And since CA accounts for more than 1/3 of the total Volt sales and Prius being one of the top brand in CA (now the best selling brand), it matters how it does in CA.

    Also, Prius sucks in just about all performance category, braking, handling, 0-60mph all sucks comparing to Volt. Sure, it is larger and seats 5, but even with its far lower weight (which helps performance) it couldn’t beat Volt in anything except its top speed which is rarely useful.

    As far as your stupidity question, learn to read your own quote and sources before you post the stupid link would make you look smarter…

    Now, who is the idiot who can’t even ready his own links?

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    @ Capt. Concernicus (who is a freaking slow buses loving idiot).

    You wrote:” “you’ll see my front bumper in your rearview” comment? Not likely my friend. In fact, in the long run the Prius has a higher top end. I keep listing more Volt beating facts if you like.”

    List another performance spec out there beside top speed?

    By the time your Prius got to the top speed, Volt is already at its destination.

    Prius is slower in 0-60mph, 1/4, brakes worse and worse in handling. How many other poor performance spec do you want?

    The miles per tank thing is RETARDED. it has to do wth gas tank size. Sure, efficient helps, but gas tanks size matter. As far as MPG goes, My Volt is running in the 160mpg range.
    6500 miles and 39.5 gallons used. See if you slow Prius can do the same?

    As far as 37mpg goes, Volt is designed so that is NOT needed. There are plenty of cars with better MPG than the Volt. But Volt is the only one that can do that performance in the EV mode. Show me another EV for under $45k that is as fast as Volt.

    List the fact or shut your Prius hole and enjoy your “short bus” performance, idiot.

  • c_harnett

    MMF: I don’t see where I said the Prius was “wildly profitable” or anything like that. You said “WE HAV NO IDEA yadda yadda yadda…” We know when they turned the corner. Toyota also said they needed to hit a cumulative 75K to get rolling on profit… that happened shortly after the article came out.

    Toyota was the true pioneer, here. They weren’t selling the cars at a loss as of December, 2001. I don’t see where GM’s making any kind of money or even decent unit volume on a full hybrid even as of today. Toyota will now sell you a real hybrid for $19K. GM will sell you a kinda-sorta-hybrid that occasionally shuts the engine off, maybe, for nearly $26K. El Lutzbo promised to lose money on their best-selling hybrid (best-selling courtesy of Uncle Sam), “for years.” There’s no reason to believe the unit cost on the Volt is less than the revenue at this point.

    The Volt’s revenue, too, has been seriouisly eroded by the fact that, in addition to the various state and federal gifts that help shove Volts off the lots, GM is subventing leases. That’s not free to GM and it pushes breakeven further out.

    Did the Prius receive so much “hate?” Of course not. Go reread my post. GM spend 4 years ballyhooing the Volt and delivered a vehicle that underwhelms and let it trickle out of the factory. They’re getting the feedback they deserve.

    I hadn’t noticed that the Prius “sucks” in all performance categories. 99% of performance is the driver. I don’t need ridiculous amounts of torque to get the job done and I stopped worrying about who got left behind at stoplights when I grew up.

    By the bye, yes, the Prius is larger but you should not pooh-pooh this. Turns out that seating 4 IS a problem. I notice that Lyle Dennis finally admitted this, too, and voted with his feet.

  • c_harnett

    MMF: “The miles per tank thing is RETARDED. it has to do wth gas tank size. Sure, efficient helps, but gas tanks size matter. As far as MPG goes, My Volt is running in the 160mpg range.
    6500 miles and 39.5 gallons used. See if you slow Prius can do the same?”

    The day after we got the plates, we took our Prius on a 3200 mile trip, Midwest to East Coast and back. I’m suuuuure your Volt would be “running in the 160mpg range” on that kind of trip, especially if you stop every 60 minutes for 8 hours to charge.

    It’s a small thing, really but, when on a trip, I no longer bother to fill up the car at night so as to be ready to roll in the morning. And I can check the GasBuddy gas price heat map and pick cities to refuel that are less expensive.

    None of our previous cars were “guzzlers” but our usual travel vehicle had a practical range of 350-375 miles (at 30mpg) and the other had a practical range of 425 miles (at 25mpg). Out West, away from the Interstates and major cities, it’s surprising how fast you run to the end of a tank… and not many places to refuel.

    The reliable 500 miles with a 100 mile reserve in the Prius is rather nice.

    Out of your driveway, on a multi-day trip, the Volt has 35+325 miles of maximum range. After the first refuelling stop, that’s down to just 325 miles maximum range. Your practical range will be much less and it’s probably going to start whining at you to refuel at 250-275.

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    @ Charlie H,

    Okay, your link only provided idea on how profitable Prius was after 75k volume. But even the article mentioned that it did NOT included the initial R&D cost. Volt is “losing” money b/c the initial R&D cost, about $1.2Billion of it. Sure, American companies are usually “shortsighted” and want to make money asap and Japanese companies are much longer in their investment horizon. But we have NO way of knowing how profitable Prius is if we don’t include the initial R&D cost. Of course, Toyota is trying to spread out the cost across all of its Hybrid platforms to reduce cost.

    Now, I applaud Toyota for taking a lead for doing this b/c it saw a gap in the market and it decided to lead in that segment and dominate that segment.

    Let us go back to Volt. Volt was NEVER intended as a “pure hybrid” as Prius. The original blue prints were aimed at EVs. GM learned from its EV1 program that “range anxiety” or fears of range is the biggest issue with EV owners beside battery lifes. So, it decided to compromise in engineering term by strap an engine to the EV. That is why Volt is EV first and hybrid second. With that, there will be sacrifices. Weight and Cost are the two biggest factors. Weight will diminish MPG during its engine mode. Typically a 15% weight increase will reduce MPG by 10-12%. Volt is 600 lbs heavier than a Prius b/c its battery weight. That alone will reduce the MPG by about 15%. Volt also went in the design with some of the best battery management there is. (Obviously better than Nissan Leaf). That added cost and weight.

    Let us talk about sitting. Sure, Volt lost 1 seat due to the battery. But most people don’t drive around with 5 people all the time. Majority of miles are driven with only 1 to 2 people. If you drive with 5 people most of the time, then you should get a 3 row vehicle or a minivan. Most cars even with 5 people seating can NOT properly fit 3 child seat in the back.

    The problem with Lyle Dennis is the fact that his Wife bought a Leaf. So, his Volt becomes a “long range” family vehicle. That speaks the issue of the Volt as much as the issue with “range” on EVs.

    With that, let us talk about range. Volt is NEVER intended to be a long range car. GM designed with the 40 miles in mind. Why? B/c 75% of America commutes that much per day. That is majority. And if you look at your typical driving, most of them are commuting miles. That is why Volt is designed for, to match EVs during the commuting miles AND allow you to have a longer trip without worrying about it. If you frequently drive hundreds and thousands of miles per day, then Volt is NOT for you. Cars all have different purpose. In those situations, Prius is a better long haul car. But once you are back to your “normal” life, Volt is more efficient. As far as your concern about gas stations. That is unfounded. I live in California and frequently visit all the national parks in the West. Driving through NV, AZ, NM, TX, UT, CO, ID, WY, OR, WA and MT are pretty typical for me in order to get to beautiful places. There has been a single time where I can’t find a gas station in the next 50 miles. Even in the national parks such as Yosemite and Sequoia, there are gas stations inside. The only place where I find service stations lacking is the drive between Alberta and BC along the Canadian hwy 1. There was a stretch where no gas stations for about 100 miles… Personally, I have to stop every 3-4 hours anyway for food and bathroom breaks or at least stretch my legs. That is exactly what the Volt range offers. On the hwy, Volt is rated 40mpg in extended mode and that is 360miles+ in range with 9.3 gallons. Even with the 35mpg, that is 310 miles+ in range. Plenty for 4 hours stretch….

    As far as performance go, well, performance matters. Sure, driver is the most important factor. But given anything else are the same, Volt performs better even with 600lbs extra weight. You would think Prius would blow the Volt away with that much more advantage in weight and weight/hp. But it doesn’t. That is b/c Toyota has tuned the car for nothing but efficiency. Akinson cycle engines are known to have high efficiency but low power and especially low torque. It is nothing new. It has been invented 120 years ago. But it hasn’t taken off until recently b/c the low power and low torque. Hybrid uses electric motor to supplement the lack of torque for this simple reason. Maybe some people would love to have better performance with little trade off in MPG. Volt’s EV powertrain is about 2x more efficient than Prius’s engine. That is where it shines.

    At the end, Volt and Prius are in two different world. Prius is a “benchmark” hybrid which gives you the best MPG possible. Volt is a plugin hybrid/EREV. It is a high tech vehicle that gets you as closely to an EV as possible without worrying about running out of charges. Each will operate with superior efficiency in their own element.

    Mr. EnergCzer’s point was that as good as Prius was in efficiency, in his personal commute model, Volt saved him even more gas. But if you are a long haul driver or daily salesman who put hundreds of miles on the car per day, then Volt is NOT for you. But that should be the minority of commuters…