I drive my Volt almost every single day, and I have been averaging about 1000 miles every month, for nearly a year and a half now. And I just realized what is really wrong about the comparisons people make between the Volt and all the other cars. They overlook several things.
For instance, they like to claim it will take 10 years or more before you get back the difference in extra cost for the Volt. That is just plain WRONG! When you or I buy a car, we seldom pay the $40,000 up front. we get a car loan and make payments, or some of us may lease the car.
Either way, we are driving a $40,000 car around and saving enough on gas bills to drop our cost to drive the Volt per month down to about the same as the payments and gas bills on a $20,000 econobox!
No other car can do that!
The payback is not ten years from now, it is INSTANT and it is ongoing.
And that does not even count the $7500 tax credit we get during the first year.
And, it also doesn't count the far lower ownership costs over extended ownership. After ten years I will have driven 120,000 miles. With the Volt, that is hardly even broken in. GM estimates 600,000 miles life on the electric motors. That would take over 40 years on mine. My ICE only is being used about 10% of the time. Even if it was a terrible motor for engine life and needed rebuilding after 100,000 miles of use, that will take a MILLION miles on the car. And, since the transmission only has to clutch shift about one tenth the amount of a regular automatic transmission, and those shifts are speed matched by the computer so there is virtually no slippage or wear, it will probably easily exceed a million miles with no work required.
The only expensive consumable item that will possibly need replacement in the Volt is the battery. And the life of that will probably easily exceed ten years, by which time they will be pretty reasonable in price, and probably have higher storage capacity and lower weight than the current one. It will be like putting a higher power engine in your old car, an instant upgrade to even better performance/economy.
The Volt may become the first car in history that retains most of it's value even 10-20 years after purchase.
I am sure the rest of the world, even the bigots, will eventually see this, and when that happens, there will be a mad scramble to buy this car. (And maybe even some GM stock)
And I also think if you are waiting , so you can buy a used Volt to save on the purchase, get in a long line! I don't think Volt owners will part with those cars easily, and the used market price for one is going to stay high besides. (I know it will be a long time before anyone could buy mine.)
After six years, when I am done making payments, I will be driving around nearly for free! And I don't even have solar panels yet!