Chevy Volt-Warning!!!!!! Blatant Promotion-Don't Read If Blatant Promotion Offends You

I took delivery of a brand new Chevy Volt today for use all next week. The following week I'll be cruising high above the traffic in a Chevy Silverado. Should be fun. Here's a link, but don't click on it unless you want to see me driving a Chevy Volt.

No votes yet

Don't forget to take your fire extinguisher!

Also, if you're on the road and need to recharge, there's a charging station at UT's Scott Park Campus. I'm certain our tax dollars paid for that, so you might as well take advantage!

Uh, Fred, you realize that the GM Volt makes no financial sense to buy, right? GM has admitted that the median income of a Volt buyer is $175K. It's a car for rich people, or twits who can't do math.

Let's say you use the GM Volt for commuting within the 35-mi electric range. My previous numbers for its recharge were wrong; although the battery pack holds 16KWh, the electronics don't allow you to use all of that. So a recharge only takes about 11KWh. Toledo's residential electric rate is about 12c/KWh, which is the national average. So a full recharge on the car would be $1.32. That takes you 35 miles. Since gas around here is about $3.50, that's an equivalent of 92mpg. Granted, you'll have to recharge that for 8-10 hours each driving day at 120VAC (common residential voltage; I dunno the amperage), or 2-3 hours at 240VAC (the sort of voltage your electric stove or dryer runs on, but it's at least $600 to run such a line to your garage).

Anyway, 92 equiv-mpg sounds great, right? Well, no, considering there are competitors. The GM Volt around here has a $39000 MSRP, and comes along with a tax break (for electric or hybrid vehicles) of at most $7000. The tax break is scaled, so let's say you get half of it. So your MSRP is about $35500. Well, the 50mpg Toyota Prius is $25000 MSRP. (It might also qualify for some of that tax break, but let's say it doesn't for now.) Let's say you drive that Prius the same as the Volt, hence 35 miles each driving day. So at 50mpg and $3.50/gal gas, the Prius costs you $2.45.

So the Volt saves you $1.13 per driving day. But the base capital cost is $10500 higher, hence you arrive at about 9290 driving days. Assuming 6 driving days out of each 7 days, that's about 1550 weeks, or 29.8 years.

Well! That's an impossible payback time.

Even worse: Although both vehicles have battery packs and both are supposed to be replaced around the same time (10 years), the Prius pack is around $2500-2700 to replace, but the Volt pack is projected to be at least $5000. After all, it's much larger and has much greater capacity. So even if you keep the Volt for a decade or two, and gasoline goes up a lot, you have to account for that battery replacement cost, and as well, the cost of electricity (based primarily off of coal and natural gas) will also go up.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.