Over 34,000 People Want to Buy a Chevy Volt - HotHardware
Over 34,000 People Want to Buy a Chevy Volt

Over 34,000 People Want to Buy a Chevy Volt

Alternative energy advocate, Dr. Lyle Dennis, loved the idea behind General Motors' (GM) Chevrolet Volt electric concept car so much, that he not only created a Website devoted to it (GM-Volt.com) soon after GM announced the concept vehicle in 2007, but he has spent a significant amount of time leading a grassroots effort to convince GM to commit to building it... Which GM finally did in June 2008.

Part of GM's decision to move forward is a direct result of Dennis's efforts. The primary function of Dennis's GM-Volt.com site was to assemble a list of potential customers interested in purchasing a Volt. Dennis hoped that if enough people expressed interest, GM would respond by committing to manufacture the car. Now that GM has committed to getting the electric car in production before the end of 2010, Dennis's next goal is "to try and compel GM to build enough cars for us," as Dennis claims that GM's "actual production numbers are projected to be modest at first."

 
 Credit: GM
This next step for Dennis was started by his publicly releasing the metrics from his site's wait list, which had reached 33,000 people potentially interested in purchasing a Chevy Volt. Dennis released this information yesterday in a blog post on his site. As of when this news post was written, that number had already gone up to 34,503 people. Dennis included some other data from the wait list as well:

The states that have the most-interested potential purchasers are California (1,216), Texas (667), and Florida (641). Of those 34,503 people, 10,106 provided "an enthusiasm rating" for the Volt, and the average rating was 9.27 (on a 1 to 10 scale). Perhaps not all 34,503 are seriously considering purchasing a Volt, as only 8,217 people volunteered how much they would be willing to pay for one. The average price of those who did provide an amount was $31,378. If every one of them purchased a Volt for that amount, they would collectively spend almost $258 million. A total of 7,479 people said that they would be willing to put down a deposit for the car; the average of the deposits was $2,533.

Electric cars are quickly becoming a hot commodity. The Tesla Roadster has just started production, and the Mini Copper Clubman is expected next year. Even new companies are being formed to make electric cars, such as U.K.-based, Lightning Car Company with its high-performance Electric Lightning GT, and Philadelphia-based BG Automotive Group with its $16,000 economy car. GM is the first major car manufacturer, however, to plan to produce an electric car; albeit, not the only one, as Toyota has also announced an electric car using a similar technology as the Volt.

 
 Credit: GM
While the Volt is essentially an electric car, it is not strictly speaking, an electric-only car:

"The electric engine gets its power from a very powerful high-voltage battery pack that can store enough energy to drive the car up to 40 miles in standard driving conditions. That battery pack is recharged by plugging the car into your home 110 (or 220) volt wall outlet, just like you do your iPod or cell phone. The full-charge cycle should take about 6 hours (3 hours at 220). Yes, this will increase your electric bill, but you will charge the car overnight when rates are lower. Much more importantly, you will need NO GASOLINE for drives up to 40 miles. So, if gas prices continue to go through the roof, you really won’t care. In most areas, your electricity costs should amount to a gas equivalent price of 50 cents per gallon. Studies suggest that 78% of drivers drive less than 40 miles per day.

Another very important feature of the Volt, and the reason some people (not GM) still consider it a hybrid, is that it will still have an on-board gasoline/E85 combustion engine. Only in the Volt, this engine is the smaller one, and has only one task, it charges the battery pack when the stored power gets low. The motor is not connected to the wheels, it is only a generator. The brilliance of this feature is that you will have an overall driving range of 400 miles. The efficiency of this motor amounts to about 50 mpg, for each gallon you use to charge the batteries."
--Dr. Lyle Dennis

Some folks call this version of an electric car a "plug-in hybrid," since it also has a gas engine. But as Dennis points out, unlike the hybrid cars on the road today, such as the Toyota Prius, the Volt's gas engine essentially acts only as a "generator" to charge the batteries (for trips over 40 miles) and is not even connected to the vehicle's transmission.

The actions of Dennis and his grassroots movement show that voices of advocates can make a difference. It's also refreshing to see car manufacturers starting to embrace fuel-alternative technologies. Let's just hope that when and if gas prices dip back down below $3/gallon that the fickle whims of consumers don't drive the market back toward inefficient, gas-guzzlers.
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I would love to have 1 of these cars. Hope to see a lot more electrics

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Im glad to see that America has finally getting a grasp on the concept of alternative energy and technology! Its not like the idea hasnt been around for years and years!We have been held captive for years by other countries for oil for our dependecy and use!The idea of electric cars and alternative energy was sweeped under the rug years ago by special interest groups(Oil companies) and our elected officials for their own interest and not the interest of the American people!So now we are paying the price in every faccet of our lives.So now we are in a race to impliment these ideas to fix America so we can survive.It makes you wonder how is it possible that a Superpower like our country could get in this condition.I put most of the blame on corporate america! Its called Greed and Deliberate Iggnorance again at the hands of corperate america.Im looking forward to the future for my kids and their kids.Now on the lighter side anyone let me borrow the money for one of these new cars? LOL!

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That is the right kind of hybrid to have! With a small diesel engine running at its most efficient speed to generate electricity for the batteries, you could get crazy mileage. Unfortunately, the shape of this car is still ridiculous, like most other cars.

Personally, I can't wait to by an Aptera when they come out, hopefully next year. The shape is actually appropriate for a large body moving through the atmosphere.

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In the '70s there were a lot of hotrods and muscle cars. Then there was a gas crisis and in the '80s there were a lot of small cars. Now everyone driver SUV's. Gas is out of control again. I think were are going to have a lot of small hybrids in the next decade.

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bob_on_the_cob:
Gas is out of control again. I think were are going to have a lot of small hybrids in the next decade.
 

Right now Im driving and old 81 Silverado fixer upper with a big Holley carburator sitting on top of it so right now as close as I can get to a hybrid is these!

Im wearing my hybrid!

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Maybe i'll just junkout my '08 Mazda for one of these guys hmm?

 

Haha, actually it'd be nice to have as a "to-work" type car but it'd be tough to haul or do anything productive with it seemingly...

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I have always believed that GM is not a great green technology company (GM have declared bankruptcy on Monday June 1 2009) but with this car I think there is some possibility of green cars from Chevy.

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If they would get it into production, I would definitely put it at the top of my consideration list for my next car.

 I added myself to the list:  It's now up to 48,000+ people.

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I put most of the blame on corporate america! Its called Greed and Deliberate Iggnorance again at the hands of corperate america.Im looking forward to the future for my kids and their kids.Now on the lighter side anyone let me borrow the money for one of these new cars? LOL!

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