Some days the Volt-specific news we might be able to find and post here is unfortunately limited.
Today is not one of those days!
In fact, just for fun, I’ll fold in three stories as it’s kind of novel to have GM EREV-related stories from the U.S, Australia and UK.
US News: Love your new Volt or get your money back
Were you thinking about buying a Volt or another economical car in Chevrolet’s line-up but were not quite sure whether you’d have buyer’s remorse later?
Taking a strategy out of the playbook of retailers of less-high-priced consumer goods, beginning yesterday through Sept. 4, Chevrolet says it is offering a “Love it or return it” money back guaranty.
The deal actually applies to all 2012 or 2013 Chevrolets, but yesterday Chevrolet spokesperson Afaf Farah said it definitely includes the Volt.
According to Farah, the offer is a repeat of a similar company wide program GM ran in 2009, and is being offered again in light of Chevrolet having a number of new and improved models, and the company wants to woo buyers back to the brand with a bold offer that shows it really has confidence in its lineup.
You can read the fine print here, but in short, if you buy an eligible vehicle, and hold onto it from at least 31 up to 60 days, drive fewer than 4,000 miles, and decide the vehicle is really not for you, then no worries.
Chevrolet will take the vehicle back for the full actual selling price plus the sales tax you paid – but you will forfeit registration fee, title fee, or municipal and other miscellaneous fees as applicable.
The “Buyback Price” will be fully disclosed prior to taking delivery, and the intent is to avoid unwanted surprises – so, while there are terms and conditions, there will be no haggling, a restocking fee, or other penalties if you decide not to keep your 31-60-day-old Chevy.
Other caveats include this does not apply to leasing, but purchases only, and if you return it, it must be through the same participating dealer. Also the vehicle must not have incurred damage or non-warranted repairs in excess of $300, regardless of whether such damage has been repaired. And furthermore, it must not have been subject to any liens or other security interests other than a lien for the original financing used to purchase it.
OK, but it still sounds like a pretty liberal deal. And someone might ask, what happens if some person tries to game the system? In other words, could this deal become like a relatively minimal cost 31-60 day rental if someone was willing to put out the upfront costs and go through the trouble of buying the car?
The short answer is, yes. But Farah said the last time GM did this, it had around a 1-percent return rate while seeing an incremental increase in sales.
So, not unlike an offer at a bookstore that lets you read the whole book then return it for money back, Chevrolet is taking the chance that most people won’t take the option out, and it will sell more vehicles.
What do you think? Is this a good offer? Is it good enough to make you buy that now-discounted Volt you were thinking about in light of 2013 models being just around the corner?
Full details and limitations can be found at chevyconfidence.com.
News from Oz: Better Place and Holden team up on charging
We more often hear of Better Place as offering EV battery switching stations for Renaults, but yesterday for the Volt in Australia, Holden announced Better Place would be its “preferred partner for renewable energy and faster charging.”
For those of you less familiar, the “long range Holden Volt” is the Australian re-badged version of the Chevy Volt.
Holden says Better Place will enable effectively reduced emissions by making available a number of membership packages for Volt customers.
Central in this is a “Charging Spot” recharger unit and ability to purchase renewable energy or 100-percent government certified renewable energy certificates.
Ordinarily plugging into 240-volt, 10-amp house current in Australia is said to require a bit less than six hours for a full recharge. With the Better Place unit pushing 15 amps from a dedicated line, time is said to be decreased to under four hours.
While offered to consumers, Holden Energy and Environment Director, Richard Marshall noted the Better Place option is likely to be especially popular with fleets wanting to run their Volts predominantly on the initial battery charge.
For its part, Better Place said the partnership gives Volt motorists a complete recharging solution for their electric driving.
“The partnership between Better Place and Holden means Volt drivers can choose an all-inclusive service that delivers complete peace of mind and makes driving an electric car easy, convenient and reliable,” said Better Place Head of Strategy and Marketing, Ben Keneally. “We look after everything a Volt driver needs – including installing personal charging spots at home or work, delivering shorter charging times, and providing ongoing management, maintenance, and 24-hour customer care.”
Better Place will also install a Volt Charge Spot at the limited number of Volt dealers for demonstration purposes when the 2013 Volt is released in a fully optioned single specification level at $59,990 Australian dollars ($61,118 USD) – plus dealer delivery, road registration and associated taxes – in the fourth quarter of this year.
This morning Holden spokesperson Andrea Matthews said also that charger pricing is still pending.
“Better Place have not yet announced pricing for the charger but it will vary as there will be a number of different membership packages available,” she said, answering also a question about projected numbers. “We won’t speculate on sales volume of any of our vehicle lines but our expectation is that this will be a niche model for us.”
Matthews said also she appreciated your checking in to see what Holden is doing – so feel free to keep clicking the links …
“By the way, I also look after the Holden blog and we’ve seen some good traffic from your site in the past week,” she said, “so thanks!”
News from Europe: UK man trades Leaf for Volt over range anxiety
By Huw Evans
In the United Kingdom, Dan Green (not his real name), decided, after 18 months of ownership that his Nissan Leaf was too stressful and so opted to trade it in for the British version of the Chevy Volt, a Vauxhall Ampera.
Asked why, Green cited the fact that he was tired of running out of charge, which doubled journey times and significantly increased his stress levels since he often worried if he would make it to his destination.
Part of the reason for his decision stems from the fact that in Green’s eyes, development of an EV infrastructure simply hasn’t been rapid enough to support the sales of the cars themselves, which means that the prospect of running out of range was a major concern.
“Although the tow truck drivers were friendly,” Green said, “being taken away on a flatbed truck turns a 1.5 hour journey into a 3.5 hour one. That’s okay if you’re on your own, but it doesn’t impress your passengers and doesn’t help the cause of electric cars.”
He also said that on busy motorways (freeways) or during rush hour, driving slower to maximize range endurance was also particularly stressful, not only irritating other motorists but also proving quite dangerous, especially considering that many drivers travel at speeds of 75-85 mph on motorways in the UK.
As a result, he decided enough was enough and went to a Vauxhall dealer to trade the Leaf in on a new Ampera. “They gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” he said, no doubt aided by the fact Green paid in cash, giving him extra bargaining power.
However, despite his new found motoring freedom, thanks to the Ampera’s onboard gasoline generator, Green does say there are some things he misses about the Leaf, namely its onboard CarWings telematics and satellite navigation system. “I really hate the satellite navigation in the Ampera,” he says, though “now I don’t have to worry about plugging in any more,” [getting 250 miles per gallon equivalent] is simply a much more enjoyable and relaxing experience.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.