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Chevy Volt
130 Chevrolet Volts are going to select U.S. markets; first production model up for auction

The Chevrolet Volt represents one of the most important launches of General Motors' long history. The vehicle represents an important milestone bridging the past (internal combustion engines) and our eventual future (electric propulsion) when it comes to automotive transportation, and has already nabbed "Car of the Year" awards from Automobile and Motor Trend.

GM has announced that the Volt is now shipping to dealerships in select parts of the country – California, New York, Texas, Washington, D.C. – albeit in limited numbers. GM is only expecting to deliver 160 vehicles this week.

"Today is a historic milestone for Chevrolet," remarked Tony DiSalle, Volt marketing director. "We have redefined automotive transportation with the Volt, and soon the first customers will be able to experience gas-free commuting with the freedom to take an extended trip whenever or wherever they want."

In addition to Volts that are heading to dealerships, the very first Volt to roll off the assembly line is currently up for auction. Proceeds from the sale of the vehicle will go to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation -- at this moment, the high bid for the vehicle is a whopping $185,000. The auction ends later today.

The Chevy Volt is powered by 149hp (273 lb-ft torque) electric motor which provides 35 miles of fossil fuel-free driving courtesy of its 16 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. A 1.4-liter gasoline engine kicks in at the point to recharge the battery pack and provide additional power to the front wheels (under certain circumstances). The Volt has a maximum driving range of 375 miles.

When it comes to pricing, the Volt won't come cheap. It is priced at $41,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit.

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Given that...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 12/14/2010 7:33:29 AM , Rating: -1
The Volt is only a plug-in hybrid,
It's range is only 375 on a 9 gallon tank (41 mpg),
It costs $41K, before dealer mark up, but before tax credit,
The 50+ mpg $30K loaded Prius should be looking good (figuratively) about now.

The other big problem with the Volt is that it is GM, which means perhaps fair initial build quality, and then it falls apart after a couple years (I speak from experience).

Therefore, IMHO, I don't think this is news worthy. Now, if these are still running strong after 5 - 10 years, then more power to them, so to speak.

RE: Given that...
By GreenEnvt on 12/14/2010 8:30:43 AM , Rating: 2
It all depends on your situation.
If you commute less then 40 miles total each day, you'll use little to no gas at all. If you have a second car in the house, that one is the one used for long trips.

That said, very few drivers would see themselves actually save money over the life of the car, this is a first run of a new type of technology. Taxi drivers or couriers might save a good chunk of money, but most of us won't.

RE: Given that...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 12/14/10, Rating: 0
RE: Given that...
By Gungel on 12/14/10, Rating: 0
RE: Given that...
By Lord 666 on 12/14/10, Rating: 0
RE: Given that...
By Gungel on 12/14/2010 10:32:41 AM , Rating: 2
Remember this is 1st generation tech, after 5 - 10 years GM will be on its 2nd and 3rd generation of Volts with a much better range and smaller, more economical engines for the range extender. We will also see new models from Cadillac and Buick with the same Volt technology.

RE: Given that...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 12/14/2010 11:18:16 AM , Rating: 2
1st gen for GM. 3+ gen for Toyota.

RE: Given that...
By Gungel on 12/14/2010 12:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
Plug-in? didn't think so.

RE: Given that...
By CharonPDX on 12/14/2010 2:00:21 PM , Rating: 2
It will be the second-generation Toyota Plug-in. They just never released the first generation to the public, only to fleets.

(This really SHOULD be GM's second EV, but they chickened out and went with a plug-in hybrid instead.)

RE: Given that...
By mindless1 on 12/16/2010 3:27:35 AM , Rating: 3
My experiences working on my own and many other people's cars tells a different story. GM has higher initial defect rate but once you fix those defects (which tend to surface in the first couple years) they have reasonable lifespan w/o major issues for at least the first dozen years. However we cannot predict one way or the other about this special project, the Volt.

On the other hand this is first generation tech, not just the refinement of 100 years of ICE vehicles, so it would be crazy to think it doesn't have a few significant flaws... beta testers for automobiles buy the first generation from anyone.

What is more significant is resale value and depreciation. How much is a $40K Chevy worth after its battery life is 2/3rds depleted?

Practically nothing, book value on the car is likely to be no more than the cost of the replacement battery.

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