The Chevy Volt: Just Another Hybrid

It turns out GM wasn’t being completely honest when they touted the Chevy Volt as an all electric vehicle. From Edmunds:

GM Lied: Chevy Volt is Not a True EV.

Um, well, no. Even conceding that all engineering projects involve compromise and chalking that phrase up to marketing hyperbole, the Chevy Volt isn’t as electric as GM pretends it is. And it isn’t as electric as GM has been saying for the past three years.

In fact the Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid and it has more in common with conventional “series-parallel” hybrids like the Toyota Prius than the marketing hype led us to believe. There are circumstances in which the Volt operates with the internal combustion engine directly driving the front wheels. That’s right, like a Prius.

This is something that GM has known from the start, though it wasn’t revealed until very recently. Reports also signal that the Volt’s MPG ratings were vastly over-estimated, and sit at about 30-40 for realistic driving conditions.

Why should anyone care? You’re helping pay for it. The sticker price for a 2011 Chevy Volt is $41,000, but a $7,500 federal tax credit brings the potential price down to $33,500. And the whole issue with GM being indebted to the government.