Stopped into the local warehouse store this weekend. They've got partnerships with various businesses that give discount to club members; one of which is special pricing from a local car dealer. There's often a special model car out in front of the club, and this past weekend they were showcasing this:
Got that? 35 freakin' miles on a charge. The rest of your trip takes place courtesy of a tiny gasoline motor that gets less-than-fantastic mileage, mainly because it's trying to power a vehicle that's too large for it. You'll save $7,600 in fuel costs over five years! It's right there on the sticker! Too bad it costs about $25,000 more than any other comparably sized vehicle, so it will take you more than 15 years TO BREAK EVEN.
Let me state this as clearly as I can: If you buy this car expecting to save money, you are a fucking moron.
You're not saving any money whatsoever - at $46,000, the difference between the Volt and a Civic/Corolla/Sentra/any other comparably sized gasoline engine car in gas mileage is negligible. Even with gas at $4 a gallon and and an annual commute of 20,000 miles, the gasoline-only car getting 25 MPG would cost you $3200 for the year. Even if the Volt were 100% free, it would still take almost 10 years of driving to offset the cost differential.
And this one does run on coal, at least in those paltry 35 miles you run on the batteries. That's another bone of contention. 35 miles on a 4 hour charge? What's the point? I have a pretty reasonable commute - only 15 miles each way - and I'd be hard-pressed to make it back and forth to work on a single charge if the weather is bad, I hit heavy traffic, or I run the air conditioning in the summer. Oh, and it might catch fire in an offset crash. Nothing to see here.
Only a car company owned by the Federal government could screw up a hybrid this bad.
That is all.