Saturday, April 7, 2012

NYT Editorial

Interesting editorial in the NY Times yesterday:

G.M.’s innovative hybrid has become quite the political lightning rod.

Loved this comment from a Volt driver at the end of the article:
rgvd from Los Angeles
We leased a Volt. It is $415 per month including tax plus 1000 down for 3 years. My wife's last car was a Camry Hybrid $421 per month. The Volt is TWICE the car. Drives like a BMW. Hugs a mountain road.. Silent instant torque. Quality build. Amazing!! about $1 per day to go 43 miles. 40 miles per gallon after that and the same all electric power and drive Plugs into a wall socket. My only complaint is that it's a little small just like a BMW 3 series. We have leased new BMW 5 series 3 times in the last 15 years. The VOLT is as good in every way but it's much less expensive. Very little air pollution. I feel so sorry for for other people who drive comparably priced cars. They are giving $3,000 a year to the guys who run oil companies for no reason. This car is the real thing. The people at GM did an incredible job. Try driving one before you judge it. You won't be sorry.

And this one who switched from Mercedes:
Richard from San Jose, ca
I traded a Mercedes in on my Volt 15,000 miles ago. The car saves me $125 a month in gas and is much more fun to drive than the Mercedes. I also got $7500 off my 2011 taxes.
My volt is cheaper to own, cheaper to operate and much more fun. What's not to like?

And another...
Jim S from Quakertown, PA
Have any of these "naysayers" seen a Volt or heaven forbid driven one? Probably not. It is so much easier for them to judge the Volt from a distance with false statements and half truths.
I purchased (actually leased) my Volt last Saturday, and I am very impressed with its fit, finish, appearance and engineering. I am not wealthy or well off by any means ( I am one of those 99% that lives paycheck to paycheck); so claims the Volt are a "plaything" for the wealthy at the expense of the Federal Government does not apply here.
Based on my commute and driving habits I saved $50 this past week in gas alone; I also saw my insurance rate go down versus my previous vehicle (a 2008 Buick). My lease payment is lower than my old payment, my insurance is lower, and saving $50 week for gas is a major savings.
I have used 3.5 gallons of gas while driving 430 miles....... Even when I calcuate the electric cost to charge it, I will come out ahead every day/week/month I drive it.

It took me awhile to wade through the comments, but the comments almost all fall into a set of rules. The commenters who have a Volt are absolutely 100% sold on them and are able to demonstrate savings based on either cars they previously owned or cars they considered at the time they got their Volt. Then there are non-owners who are in other electric or hybrid cars who appreciate the Volt, and there are the wingnuts who 100% reject the Volt and any car like them (but the Volt in particular).

People who reject the Volt seem to feel it is too expensive and it takes too long (if ever) to get a return on investment. They ignore the fact that most people do not buy cars as "investments" and are merely trying to get a car that holds it's resale value while giving them whatever it is they want in a car, usually economy is only one of a number of other, possibly more important items in the list of "wants".

Bottom line: If you are in the market for a car in the class/price range of a Volt, you really should test drive a Volt and compare it with other cars in the class. It you're going to spend that kind of money anyway, and $400/month give or take is certainly not an outrageous price range to be in, then why not consider a car that will cost you less to fuel and operate than other cars in the same class and monthly payment range?

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