Consumer Reports Condemns GM"s Volt
GM’s Volt ‘doesn’t really make a lot of sense’
DAVID SHEPARDSON February 28, 2011 Detroit News (Excerpt)
Washington — "Consumer Reports offered a harsh initial review of the Chevrolet Volt, questioning whether General Motors Co.'s flagship vehicle makes economic "sense."The extended-range plug-in electric vehicle is on the cover of the April issue — the influential magazine's annual survey of vehicles — but the GM vehicle comes in for criticism.
"When you are looking at purely dollars and cents, it doesn't really make a lot of sense. The Volt isn't particularly efficient as an electric vehicle and it's not particularly good as a gas vehicle either in terms of fuel economy," said David Champion, the senior director of Consumer Reports auto testing center at a meeting with reporters here. "This is going to be a tough sell to the average consumer."
The magazine said in its testing in Connecticut during a harsh winter, its Volt is getting 25 to 27 miles (range) on electric power alone.
GM spokesman Greg Martin noted that it's been an extremely harsh winter — and as a Volt driver he said he's getting 29-33 miles on electric range. But he noted that in more moderate recent weather, the range jumped to 40 miles on electric range or higher.
Champion believes a hybrid, such as the Toyota Prius, may make more sense for some trips.
"If you drive about 70 miles, a Prius will actually get you more miles per gallon than the Volt does," Champion said.
But GM has noted that most Americans can avoid using gasoline for most regular commuting with the Volt, while its gasoline engine can allow the freedom to travel farther, if needed.
The magazine has put about 2,500 miles on its Volt. It paid $48,700, including a $5,000 markup by a Chevy dealer.
Champion noted the Volt is about twice as expensive as a Prius.
He was said the five hour time to recharge the Volt was "annoying" and was also critical of the power of the Volt heating system.
"You have seat heaters, which keep your body warm, but your feet get cold and your hands get cold," Champion said.
Consumer Reports will release a full road test of the Volt later this year and will update it." Detroit news