Who is buying the Chevy Volt?

Posted: June 20, 2011 in Chevrolet, General Motors, Hybrids, Electrics and other "Green" Technology
Tags: , , ,

The June 20, 2011 issue of Automotive News published an article titled: EVs rev up for Act 2, Next task: Educate, win over mainstream buyers.  The article is only vaguely interesting, however, some of the stats are fascinating.
2011 Chevy Volt

For me, the most interesting factoid is some research from Chevrolet profiling Volt buyers so far:

Volt buyer profile
Sex: Male, 90%; female, 10%
College degree: 80%; advanced degree, 45%
Driving mode: Electric, two-thirds of the time; gasoline mode, one-third of the time
Traded in: GM vehicle, 14%; non-GM vehicle, 86%
Had never been in a Chevrolet showroom before: 33%
Installed a 240-volt charger: 50%
“Completely” or “very” satisfied: 93%
In addition, GM says that about one third of Volt customers lease their car and, of the 2.1 million miles driven (so far), about two-thirds used electricity from the grid; the rest were driven using the onboard gasoline-powered generator.

2011 Chevy Volt interior

Those are pretty interesting statistics and it’s a testament to the importance of the Volt to Chevy’s brand image and GM’s future.  I wonder when the last time (if ever) a Chevy product had a 93% satisfaction rate?

GM says that Volt owners are averaging 900 miles between fill-ups for the 9.3 gallon gas tank.  Granted, the early adopters are probably hyper aware of their driving habits and do everything possible to maximize the EV-only range; however, if all you do is remember to plug it in at the end of the day or where you park at work, the “average” owner would probably be able to pile on substantial commuter miles before having to fill the gas tank.

When I tested the Volt, I was very impressed with how simple and intuitive it was to drive this very complex piece of engineering. The transition between EV-only mode and the gas-powered range-extending engine driving a generator, is seamless and nearly unnoticeable. If you can drive a car with an automatic transmission, you can drive the Volt.

The engineers who put the Volt together in record time, including during GM’s bankruptcy, are the core of the “new” GM. These are the “car guys” who really understand the car business, not Lt. Dan Akerson who hails from telecommunications and Wall Street private equity.

The price is still an issue (MSRP $41,000), but if you can take advantage of the $7,500 federal and $5,000 California tax credits, it becomes much more affordable.  And if  you live in an area where your local electric company or local government helps subsidize the installation of an in-home quick charging station, you really come out ahead. [Update July 22 2011 – California credit pool out of money.]

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Tom says:

    I’m starting to see them around my neighborhood. It’s the first Chevy I’ve seen parked in a Beverly Hills driveway in a long time that wasn’t the gardeners truck..

    • Todd Bianco says:

      I’m seeing them in BH, WeHo and Santa Monica too. I’ve also seen a few of them in Palm Springs. The local Chevy dealer told me they could sell more if they could get more. Most of the buyers are retired senior citizens!

  2. metaksan says:

    Electric Cars has miles to go. The most important thing is to have more than 250 miles range. The current versions are around 200 miles in theory but in practice, it is not more than 150 miles.

    Chevy volt is good for this, it has more than 300 miles range, but still this must be improved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s