Apr 03

Volt vs. ELR – Video

 

There probably won’t be a whole lot of surprises, but that doesn’t mean this video won’t be an interesting point-counterpoint between this Web site’s name sake, and its rich cousin.

Volt_ELR

The Smoking Tire’s Matt Farah owns a Volt, and thought to compare it with a borrowed Cadillac ELR.

What does an extra $40,000 get you with the Caddy?

Lots of style, a bit of a different feel, refinement, nice materials, and, well, the video pretty well says what you’ll want to know.

Does this make you happy you have a Volt, or wish you had the ELR?

Enjoy.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 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.

COMMENTS: 57


  1. 1
    James McQuaid

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (6:57 am)

    The ELR is a nice car, but I have a fully loaded 2012 Volt. My Volt provides 95% of what the ELR offers for less than half the price. The Volt is an overwhelmingly better value. A good value is desirable in and of itself (independent of any product’s feature set).

    It’s just me, but I am very happy I have the Volt, and I have no desire to own the ELR.


  2. 2
    BAZINGA

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (7:51 am)

    I love our TWO Volt’s and appreciate the ELR and GM’s effort but if I were going to spend $75K to $80K I’be be buying a Tesla S.


  3. 3
    Nelson

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (9:09 am)

    Happy I own a Volt!
    I was hoping for a little drag action in the video but there was none.

    NPNS! SBF!
    Volt#671


  4. 4
    'georgeBower

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (9:32 am)

    At approx 4:00 into the video the kid explains the differences between the ELR and the Volt: “The ELR has Hold mode” (the Volt doesn’t?)

    What?

    OK back to the Video.


  5. 5
    Eric Smalling

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (9:56 am)

    ‘georgeBower:
    At approx 4:00 into the video the kid explains the differences between the ELR and the Volt: “The ELR has Hold mode” (the Volt doesn’t?)

    What?

    OK back to the Video.

    What?

    Yeah – that bugged me too – you’d think that they’d have fact checked their script and cut that out – or at least noted that this changed as of the 2013 Volt.


  6. 6
    Mark Z

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (10:15 am)

    The video review is honest, but harsh. There were a few times I really disliked the Volt driver’s comments.

    ELR is amazing and every Volt owner should be pleased with the commitment that GM has toward E-REV and 100% electric drive for gas free local trips.

    Above all, Volt and ELR build quality and safety are fantastic. No recalls for these perfectly built electric vehicles except for four cars.

    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1085090_2012-chevrolet-volts–just-four–recalled-for-brake-valve-glitch


  7. 7
    DonC

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (10:37 am)

    I think the review was fun and fair! Other than the odd comment about “Hold” mode of course. Hard to argue about the price difference and I’m not that price sensitive.

    But my main question is this: Why, when people who drive 150 cars a year understand how great the Volt is — what were the steps — Car, Volt, $100K car — and that it’s the best value on the market — GM can’t figure out how to sell it?


  8. 8
    dwwbkw

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (10:47 am)

    James McQuaid:
    The ELR is a nice car, but I have a fully loaded 2012 Volt. My Volt provides 95% of what the ELR offers for less than half the price. The Volt is an overwhelmingly better value. A good value is desirable in and of itself (independent of any product’s feature set).

    It’s just me, but I am very happy I have the Volt, and I have no desire to own the ELR.

    I’m in complete agreement. I have a loaded 2013 Volt, and couldn’t be happier. If I were going to spend $80K, it would be for a VIA SUV. The Tesla sedan is a nice car, but it does not have the utility of a big SUV.


  9. 9
    'georgeBower

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (10:53 am)

    DonC:
    it’s the best value on the market — GM can’t figure out how to sell it?

    I suppose you can say that they don’t have an incentive to sell the Volt because they have zip profit margin.

    However, they CAN afford to sell the ELR.

    All they have to do is get their crack Cadillac ICE salesmen to learn how.

    Think that will happen?


  10. 10
    nasaman

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (10:57 am)

    Mark Z: The video review is honest, but harsh. There were a few times I really disliked the Volt driver’s comments.

    ELR is amazing and every Volt owner should be pleased with the commitment that GM has toward E-REV and 100% electric drive for gas free local trips.

    Above all, Volt and ELR build quality and safety are fantastic. No recalls for these perfectly built electric vehicles except for four cars.

    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1085090_2012-chevrolet-volts–just-four–recalled-for-brake-valve-glitch

    Mark, as someone who has a Tesla Model S and has also owned a Volt, your excellent take on this comparison deserves repeating! I’ll only add that, after test driving a 2nd prototype Volt, I complained directly to GM (face-to-face) that the severe buffeting with the front windows open should be fixed before production began. For something as simple as a different outside mirror design they should have listened —but they didn’t.*

    *Anyone else reminded of GM’s current $multi-million issue of low spring/detent forces on ignition switches? :( —Change the culture, GM, or perhaps face still another bankruptcy!


  11. 11
    RobbertPatrison

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (11:11 am)

    Great review, despite that weird factual error about hold mode. The ELR sales are at a rate of ~1000 annually, by far the worst selling of any GM car. That underscores the point that its is indeed $20K overpriced.

    Its true that the ELR universally qualifies as ‘good looking’. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would suspect that the Volt is generally perceived as better-than-average looking for a compact car.


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    stuart22

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (11:28 am)

    Good video promotion of the Volt. Predictable evaluation on the ELR done by the more clueless of the two fellows.

    Ironically, the Volt is the ELR’s worst… enemy (for lack of a better word). Its presence has spoiled peoples perceptions and drags down their opinions as to the value of Voltec in a car – especially with people who don’t own and therefore experience the greatness of either car. Unfortunately it is their criticism which loudly dominates any discussion about the ELR to the extent that even Volt owners (George S? James? etc.) join in with the trash talking, rather than thanking the universe for their good fortune to be owning a real steal of a deal.

    Such as the big guy in the video driving his own Volt – he commented ‘in terms of refinement, you really have to have a Tesla or a Rolls Royce (to match the Volt)…. its like there’s three stages of refinement in a daily driver kind of car: walking, Volt, or $100,000…

    Pssst… hey guy, the ELR costs a lot less than $100,000 — doesn’t it deserve a bit of a break from all the criticism aimed at it?


  13. 13
    steve

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (11:41 am)

    First statement made about the different features is wrong. Current production Volts have the Hold mode too.


  14. 14
    Blind Guy

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (11:48 am)

    We’ve had our 2013 Volt for 17 months now and still get that new car excitement when we use our Volt! For our needs, we feel that we made the right choice and have the best value compared to other plug-in vehicles. I can’t figure-out what GM’s game plan is for EVs and am frustrated by GM’s lack of marketing enthusiasm when it comes to the Spark EV and the Volt. There is no doubt that the current ELR will be a “limited edition” and I still think it was a mistake to have a Cadillac version follow Chevy. Cadillac should have waited for the Gen. II version to take the EREV lead JMHO. GM, please don’t lower the AER for Gen. II EREV! Rather, shoot-for 95% of most people’s daily driving needs using all-electric. Promote being able to charge over-night at home for the cheapest, most convenient electricity and still have 100% freedom to go anywhere, any time!


  15. 15
    'georgeBower

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (11:54 am)

    stuart22:

    Unfortunately it is their criticism which loudly dominates any discussion about the ELR to the extent that even Volt owners (George S? James? etc.) join in with the trash talking, rather than thanking the universe for their good fortune to be owning a real steal of a deal.

    I’m not critical of my Volt. I love it. It truly is an engineering masterpiece and I commend all the engineers that did a truly great job…..and it is NOT overpriced for the tech that is in it.

    I am only critical of GM MANAGEMENT for being a bunch of boneheads.


  16. 16
    Sean

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (11:55 am)

    Hire these guys!

    We need guys like this on TV besides in California so that they can help the general public think what car is better for them.

    Still in my own opinion when I was at a auto show I thought the Volt was nice.

    Trust me there were some smaller company EV’S out there that I thought were way uglier and that felt bland a year or two ago that had hardly nothing in them at all!

    The Future Is Electric Not Hydrogen!


  17. 17
    nasaman

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (12:06 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: I am only critical of GM MANAGEMENT for being a bunch of boneheads.

    George, you sure got that right! Let’s hope an engineer (Mary Barra) will be able to change things!!


  18. 18
    benson

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (12:18 pm)

    I guess not being a kid, I don’t get the big deal. The ’59 Chevy and the ’59 Cadillac were similar under the hood, but were different cosmetically. Same for ’69, ’79 etc. This isn’t breaking news. Of course the Caddy is more luxurious. It always has been. The one time it wasn’t back in the 80′s, the Cimmaron bombed because it was a glorified expensive Chevy.


  19. 19
    Jonathan Baker

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (12:21 pm)

    nasaman: George, you sure got that right! Let’s hope an engineer (Mary Barra) will be able to change things!!

    I do, too. But, given Ms Barra’s background and hobby (muscle cars), together with the lack of effort to sell the Volt since its debut, I wonder if she will have the will or foresight to push the EV effort at GM. She will have to be a strong leader to fight the people who believe in the ICE as GM’s future. She has to have the vision and the ability to persuade the heavy-weights to also see that vision. That is a big task, IMHO. I hope that she has a thick skin.


  20. 20
    stuart22

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (12:23 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: I’m not critical of my Volt. I love it. It truly is an engineering masterpiece and I commend all the engineers that did a truly great job…..and it is NOT overpriced for the tech that is in it.

    I am only critical of GM MANAGEMENT for being a bunch of boneheads.

    Of course you love your Volt. My point was, like so many of us you’ve been spoiled by GM’s boneheaded choice to brand it a Chevrolet instead of a Cadillac – an internal debate at GM which raged on behind closed doors, and a decision which to this day have them kicking themselves in their asses. The ‘the show car Volt was a Chevy so we have to make the production Volt a Chevy’ faction vs. the ‘we need to start it out under the brand with the highest price flexibility to best cover costs of development’ faction.

    GM is far from perfect by any measure, but I think your criticisms of GM get overly harsh.


  21. 21
    Pat

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (12:38 pm)

    Nice Video except the wrong statement about the Hold mode.

    I’m driving an Opel Ampera since two years now and I’m still loving it. Probably the best car for the price so far. I do not understand why GM and Opel are not able to promote this cars better.
    My opinion is: instead of the ELR (which is a nice car, no question), GM should habe built a crossover on top of the Voltec drive train (like the MPV5 study).


  22. 22
    nasaman

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (12:41 pm)

    stuart22: The ‘the show car Volt was a Chevy so we have to make the production Volt a Chevy’ faction vs. the ‘we need to start it out under the brand with the highest price flexibility to best cover costs of development’ faction.

    And as most here also know, the other big mistake GM made was one Bob Lutz has finally gotten right…
    2014-Electrified-Truck-Standard-Box.jpg


  23. 23
    Shock Me

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (12:46 pm)

    I like the body work of the ELR, but I’d prefer the Volt interior made of ELR materials. I prefer the Model S interior to both, although I’d be curious how easy to work the touchscreen is while driving. Are there controls on the wheel so I don’t have to take my eyes off the road?


  24. 24
    nasaman

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (12:54 pm)

    THE BRITISH ARE COMING, THE BRITISH ARE COMING!
    New Range-Extended Electric London Cab A ‘Masterpiece,’ Says Mayor After Test Drive:

    See: http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1091218_new-range-extended-electric-london-cab-a-masterpiece-says-mayor-after-test-drive?fbfanpage


  25. 25
    Key-dawg

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (1:04 pm)

    Why does the Volt have a front plate and the ELR does not?


  26. 26
    `Noel Park

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (1:17 pm)

    James McQuaid: It’s just me, but I am very happy I have the Volt, and I have no desire to own the ELR.

    #1

    Me too. +1


  27. 27
    Jim I

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (1:38 pm)

    Watched the video. Basically, they want the ELR priced at $50K. So do I!!!!

    Doubt that will happen…..

    I still enjoy every ride I take in my Volt. And that is after 2.5 years of ownership. That is a really great endorsement of the quality of the Volt.

    Recently I had a chance to look at and sit in an ELR. It really is a beautiful vehicle. GM seems to have spared very little in making it an E-REV Caddy. The two things I really didn’t like were:

    1. As a two door, the back seats are even less useful than those in the Volt.
    2. Without the hatchback, the trunk space seems much smaller.

    My wife would kill me, but I could make ownership of the ELR happen. I just can’t justify to myself buying it over my Volt. Personally, I would much rather keep my Volt # C-5277 and buy an MPV5 for my wife. Twice the functionality for the same money!!!

    Come on GM!!!! There would be real interest in a Voltec based CUV vehicle…..

    Even my queen agrees with me on this one!

    Waiting patiently, but not forever………………


  28. 28
    Jackson

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (1:39 pm)

    Though I’ve always bought cars new (and kept them at least seven years), I’ve lived most of my automotive life near the entry-level end of the economic scale. My Volt, by far, is the most luxurious car I’ve ever owned; and it is about as luxurious as I ever want to get. I find it’s repeated characterization in the video as “cheap” a bit jarring. I guess it’s considered cheap by the snooty ‘show off’ rolling-in-money crowd, but most prospective buyers think it is overpriced; in fact, the expense of the Volt is it’s most common complaint. People talk about the ELR as a boost for the Volt, but after seeing this video I’d suggest that the opposite may be true. The Volt may come to be seen by Management Boneheads as a draw down to the ELR that GM would rather sell; which doesn’t bode well for any future Volt advertising (not that there is any now).

    Would Fat Guy feel the same if he hadn’t been stuck with the cheap-looking white center stack?


  29. 29
    Jim I

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (1:40 pm)

    And is it just me, or does nasaman seem grumpy today?????

    :)


  30. 30
    Charlie H

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (1:48 pm)

    nasaman,

    El Lutzbo was responsible for developing hybrid trucks several times at GM. They all failed. What makes this any better?

    Nor should he be taking much credit for the VIA truck win, lose or draw; he joined an on-going operation and didn’t develop the product or the business plan. That’s not to say he won’t take credit for it.


  31. 31
    Charlie H

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (1:51 pm)

    nasaman,

    I once read a pretty good post in a forum that went something like:

    “Remember, for the last 40 years, Bob Lutz has been consistently selling just one product: Bob Lutz.”


  32. 32
    Jackson

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (1:53 pm)

    Sean: We need guys like this on TV besides in California

    We need a lot of things that are only in California.

    … but not everything … :-P


  33. 33
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (1:55 pm)

    Jim I,

    I wouldn’t be the best judge, lol.


  34. 34
    nasaman

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (2:00 pm)

    Jim I: And is it just me, or does nasaman seem grumpy today?????
    :)

    Actually Jim, I wasn’t grumpy until noticing Charlie H’s 2 posts just above. NOW I’m grumpy! :(

    PS: Truthfully, I’m also grumpy (even though I could afford an ELR, like you) I can’t justify owning one, now retired and having driven only 16,000 miles in 6 years!


  35. 35
    'georgeBower

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (2:40 pm)

    nasaman:

    PS: Truthfully, I’m also grumpy (even though I could afford an ELR, like you) I can’t justify owning one, now retired and having driven only 16,000 miles in 6 years!

    Think what a high number of pure EV miles you would have!


  36. 36
    bobchr

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (2:40 pm)

    Jonathan Baker,

    I think Barra should get right on the Voltec Camaro and right after that the Voltec El Camino. That would show em.


  37. 37
    Sean

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (3:17 pm)

    Agree such as bullet trains!


  38. 38
    Sean

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (3:21 pm)

    Also I’m in a very good mood today I put some relaxing music on last night with the repeat feature on.

    I feel like a new man woo hoo!

    The Future Is Electric Not Hydrogen!


  39. 39
    `Noel Park

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (3:38 pm)

    Jackson: My Volt, by far, is the most luxurious car I’ve ever owned; and it is about as luxurious as I ever want to get.

    #28

    Me too. +1


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    Jackson

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (4:00 pm)

    Sean: Also I’m in a very good mood today I put some relaxing music on last night with the repeat feature on.

    k53g4w.jpg
    Very good! You win a cookie.


  41. 41
    Charlie H

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (4:11 pm)

    nasaman: Actually Jim, I wasn’t grumpy until noticing Charlie H’s 2 posts just above. NOW I’m grumpy!

    You can succumb to grumpiness or you can try answering my question.


  42. 42
    `Noel Park

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (4:13 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: I’m not critical of my Volt. I love it. It truly is an engineering masterpiece and I commend all the engineers that did a truly great job…..and it is NOT overpriced for the tech that is in it.

    #15

    Obviously, I completely agree. +1

    ‘georgeBower: I am only critical of GM MANAGEMENT for being a bunch of boneheads.

    As it relates to the “marketing” of the Volt, I am reminded of one of my mother’s favorite sayings:

    “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

    Obviously, $4.00/gallon gasoline doesn’t yet get people to the threshold of pain which leads them to seek out solutions such as the Volt.

    It’s kind of like the water wars here in CA. Everybody screams about their particular impact, but nobody wants to sacrifice to find a solution that works. The farms on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley were never sustainable and are doomed IMHO, but they hang on like grim death and try politically to wrest the water away from somebody else. And everybody else does the same, wanting everybody but them to sacrifice, but God forbid that they should have to.

    Or, at the risk of starting another political brouhaha, “climate change”. The level of pain just isn’t high enough yet to force anything to happen, so we just continue to slowly circle the drain. I feel like a spectator on the deck of the Titanic.


  43. 43
    `Noel Park

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (4:16 pm)

    nasaman: Actually Jim, I wasn’t grumpy until noticing Charlie H’s 2 posts just above. NOW I’m grumpy!

    #34

    I know you’re kidding but I have to say it. It takes a lot more than Charlie to make me grumpy, LOL. I think he’s kind of fun.


  44. 44
    Charlie H

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (4:22 pm)

    `Noel Park: Or, at the risk of starting another political brouhaha, “climate change”. The level of pain just isn’t high enough yet to force anything to happen, so we just continue to slowly circle the drain.

    Unfortunately, the current science says that even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today, we’ve still got a 2degC rise in temps “baked in.” Temps will slowly increase for several more decades.

    And, since we haven’t stopped burning fossil fuels, we’re backing in a greater temperature increase.

    Had we started dialling it back when the effect was discovered, we’d be far better off today and relatively painlessly.

    About 30K housing units have been built in my town since 1986. There’s essentially zero use of solar energy in all that housing. Smart use of passive solar could cut fossil fuel use by 50% or more. Smart use of active solar could practically zero out fossil fuel use. For just a few bucks per house. All those houses could have had negligible energy bills over their lifetimes. But people would rather install granite countertops, bathrooms big enough to entertain friends and exotic wood floors.


  45. 45
    Sean

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (4:24 pm)

    No cookie for me I rather watch my weight but on the positive side nice joke.

    Also what movie is that?

    The Future Is Electric Not Hydrogen!


  46. 46
    ClarksonCote

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (4:39 pm)

    Thoughts on the video…

    1) He thinks the Volt is an ugly car? I’d say it’s one of the best looking out there. Differences of opinion I guess.

    2) Wind buffeting, you just need to crack open a second window.

    3) Volt doesn’t sticker at $40k It stickers at $34k. Sounds like they’re going on old data (between this and the Hold Mode comment), possibly on their own Volt instead of the latest availability.


  47. 47
    'georgeBower

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (5:07 pm)

    Charlie H: Unfortunately, the current science says that even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today, we’ve still got a 2degC rise in temps “baked in.”

    That’s pretty much the way I see it also.

    I wish I could be around in 2070 and see how it all turns out.


  48. 48
    SirSpammenot

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (5:16 pm)

    I just realized… someday there will be a movie about the Volt, but like “Tucker” it will be more about Bob Lutz than the car. Sigh….

    Love my Volt, would buy another especially if it was a CUV, not interested in an ELR (I’m not it’s target demo).


  49. 49
    Eco_Turbo

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (6:16 pm)

    `Noel Park: I feel like a spectator on the deck of the Titanic.

    I feel like a spectator on the streets of ancient Rome.


  50. 50
    rdunniii

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (6:50 pm)

    Anyone watch this on YouTube? It was preceded with a Volt commercial when I did :) I wonder if an ELR commercial ever shows up?


  51. 51
    Eco_Turbo

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (7:06 pm)

    rdunniii,

    Saw the commercial on the Volt Youtube. Didn’t see any commercial on this ELR Youtube.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUg0eDCflH0


  52. 52
    `Noel Park

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (8:28 pm)

    ‘georgeBower: I wish I could be around in 2070 and see how it all turns out.

    #47

    I dunno, maybe not. +1 for reality though.

    My younger son has a 2 month old boy. I often wonder what will become of him? And what he will have to say about us come 2070.


  53. 53
    `Noel Park

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (8:29 pm)

    Charlie H: Unfortunately, the current science says that even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today, we’ve still got a 2degC rise in temps “baked in.”

    #44

    Yup. +1


  54. 54
    `Noel Park

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (8:30 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: I feel like a spectator on the streets of ancient Rome.

    #49

    Yeah, or that too. Nero is fiddling. +1


  55. 55
    haroldC

     

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    Apr 3rd, 2014 (10:15 pm)

    benson,

    sorry guy……you are wrong…..there was nothing under the hoods similar…..ask any hot rodder….
    haroldC


  56. 56
    Fred

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    Apr 4th, 2014 (12:10 am)

    Mark Z:
    Above all, Volt and ELR build quality and safety are fantastic. No recalls for these perfectly built electric vehicles except for four cars.

    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1085090_2012-chevrolet-volts–just-four–recalled-for-brake-valve-glitch

    Actually GM announced a recall for the ELR due to a problem with stability control.
    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=R&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=14V144000


  57. 57
    Jackson

     

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    Apr 4th, 2014 (9:39 am)

    Sean:
    No cookie for me I rather watch my weight but on the positive side nice joke.

    Also what movie is that?

    The Future Is Electric Not Hydrogen!

    140daja.jpg
    Screen it, it’s worth a viewing.

    “Again with the negative waves, Moriarty!”