When the Chevy Volt Concept debuted at the Detroit Auto Show, back in 2007, along with its interesting hybrid powertrain, it generated a lot of flak, ranging from the absurd to the political (read: absurd).
What’s really interesting is that most attacks on Chevy Volt have nothing to do with the car itself. True, there was that one fire, which set some people on edge regarding the new technology. Indeed, lithium-ion battery electrolyte is flammable, but you really have to mess up an electric vehicle to get it to “burst into flame.” Tesla Model S fires may have been more famous, but it all started with the Chevy Volt, one battery of which combusted after being put through crash tests by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Timing is critical, however, at least in the case of the Chevy Volt fire, which occurred some three weeks after crash testing. All crash test dummies escaped safely.
On the other hand, some have pointed to the Chevy Volt as an “Obamacar,” which is interesting, because the General Motors bailout occurred in under the previous administration. Additionally, Chevy Volt debuted two years before Obama even took office, so we’re not sure where “Obamacar” came from. True, the Obama Administration expanded on electric vehicle federal tax incentives, but the Chevy Volt is hardly an “Obamacar.” Somehow related to this is the accusations that General Motors might take the federal bailout money, and run to China, was also an undeserved black mark on the Chevy Volt’s reputation, but General Motors’ American production lines are still humming, albeit perhaps not as fast as the company would like.
Perhaps that’s the only mud that sticks on Chevy Volt, the fact that sales numbers aren’t anywhere near what General Motors had predicted. At one time, General Motors figured it would be selling some 120,000 Chevy Volt per year, yet hasn’t sold that much, cumulatively, since its introduction. Of course General Motors would love to sell more, but the problem isn’t one of production, technology, reliability, or otherwise. The problem with the Chevy Volt is the consumer! Still, working on educating the public will go a long way toward helping the Chevy Volt gain acceptance among the masses. Then, of course, is the upcoming Chevy Volt 2.0, which should offer more electric-vehicle range at a lower price. What will the naysayers say then?