American Elephants

Chevy Dealers Aren’t Bursting With Enthusiasm for Volts. by The Elephant's Child
January 30, 2012, 5:48 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Global Warming, Science/Technology

All is not well in the electric car business. Apparently there are more charging stations than there are cars. Some Chevrolet dealers are turning down the Volts that General Motors wants to ship to them.

In New York City, GM allocated 104 Volts to 14 dealerships in the area.  Dealers accepted just 31 of them. The same group of dealers took more than 90% of the other vehicles they were eligible to receive. Customer interest is declining.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been investigating the fires in three battery packs last year following government test crashes.  GM has announced a repair aimed at protecting the battery pack, and NHTSA announced that they have closed their investigation and concluded that the battery pack poses no significant fire risk. Dealers are waiting for thing to settle down.

GM’s 2011 target was 10,000 units, and they sold only 7,671.  They didn’t begin a full rollout until this past autumn.  Industry people are paying close attention to the market demand for electric vehicles. Several other automakers are set to launch EVs this year.  Many dealers have seen big drops in customer interest.  The cars are pricey.

There appears to be a lot of government pressure to install charging stations, and for state and local governments to buy EVs for their auto fleets. The charging station parking slots at the mall here never seem to be occupied, but that probably doesn’t mean much of anything. The western states have long driving distances with few gas stations, let alone charging stations.

With range between charges at about 40-45 miles, long trips are for the adventurous, and require some real planning.  Will the decline in concern about carbon dioxide and global warming play a part?

6 Comments so far
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These cars also retail for over $40,000, and what ticks me off is the $7,500 tax credit.


Comment by Douglas Allen (@SeattleSports64)

Ticks me off too. But not nearly as the subsidies for the Fisker Kharma at $110,000. Did you know that Bellevue Square has a dealership for the Tesla Sportster electric car on the second floor? It gets a subsidy too.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

The Cheesecake Factory is the best part of Bellevue Square!!


Comment by Douglas Allen (@SeattleSports64)

The local Chevy dealership here in NE Tennessee has sold 1 Volt (to the same guy that lives here that bought the first Prius) and is waiting for the agreement to run out so he can send the other one he has back, and has said that the only way he’ll get another one is if someone orders it.

When someone asks for a test drive, they take the Volt on the same route as everyother car they test drive – curvy mountain roads. It doesn’t drive that well. And the electric motor here only drives the car about 20-25 miles. The sales people tell you that you’d be better off getting the Cruze.

The local Nissan dealer has had the same issues with the Leaf they have… doesn’t doo well on the mountain roads, and the charge only runs the car for about 60 miles (not the 100 they advertise), so after they get rid of the Leaf they have, they probably won’t get another.


Comment by Lon Mead

But I’ve read that the Cruze is a real flop!


Comment by The Elephant's Child

“But I’ve read that the Cruze is a real flop!”



Comment by Lon Mead

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