Cost savings with the Chevy Volt

2012 Chevy Volt  $40,000 base price
2012 Chevy Volt $40,000 base price

Information about the Chevy Volt

The Chevy Volt is a political vehicle that is surrounded by a lot of propaganda both for and against the vehicle. The left will say that drivers get 150 miles per gallon, and the right will say that the volt is a $40,000 Chevy Cruze. The truth is that they are both right, and neither side is completely honest about the issue. This article is to give you the unbiased truth about the Chevy Volt.

2012 Chevy Cruze $17,000 base price
2012 Chevy Cruze $17,000 base price

The more that I look into the Chevy Volt the less I like, and I wanted to like the Chevy Volt in the beginning. I like the idea of energy independence and having America as a leader in technology. At first glance I thought that the volt would get about 30 miles of gasoline free miles on a full charge. That sounded reasonable enough. Most people could make it to work then recharge and make it home without using gasoline. Then I found out about the performance effects of cold weather and the battery loss that is caused from the use of the heater and air conditioning. For those of us in the north, any reports concerning the negative effects from cold weather and use of the heater are major problems. Once that battery is used up we are stuck with a heavier version of a Chevy Cruze that costs $40,000.

Cost Savings with the Volt

A CNN report featured a Chevy Volt owner that uses his Volt for all of his daily driving. He said that he saves $1800 a year in energy. That is his total savings taking into account the cost of electricity. Based on these figures, and a base cost of $17,000 for a Chevy Cruze, the Chevy Volt will take 12 years to pay for its cost over a Chevy Cruze. That is probably being generous since 2 gallons of gas at $4/gallon for 5 days a week only costs $2088 per year. Then factor in $40/month to charge the vehicle according to Edmonds which adds up to $480 in at home electrical costs per year, and we get $2088-$480=$1608 in gas savings per year. This means that you will have to drive your Chevy Volt a whopping 14 years to overcome the exorbitant sticker price.

CNN report

Tax incentives and hidden costs

To be fair, the Chevy Volt does offer a $7500 tax rebate as well as additional rebates depending on your state. I did not take these numbers into account with my cost savings figures because there are just as many factors that will increase the cost of the Chevy Volt. The Chevy Volt requires premium gasoline which adds an extra cost to your daily driving. You will also need to add thousands of dollars to the price of your Volt if you want the special charger that will decrease your charging times at home. In addition to these costs, the $40,000 sticker price for the Volt is the base price. The actual price of the Volt can go as high as $46,000. Finally, the Volt might have to use charging stations in the future which currently charge $5 for a complete charge. If you are forced to use one of these charging stations while you are on the road your cost savings will disappeared. Factor in the cost of expensive repairs and possible battery problems, and I think that it is safe to say that you will lose money in your Chevy Volt.

2012 Copyright Michiganman567

Other Articles of Interest:

America should support the Chevy Volt

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle

Ending America's energy Dependence on Foreign Oil

More by this Author


Comments 11 comments

vrajavala profile image

vrajavala 4 years ago from Port St. Lucie

Nice hub. Too bad the idiots compelked us into the technology before it was perfected.

I lile thw way you erote "Finally the Chevy Volt might have a charging station".

Good sciece fiction. Bad government intervention.

BTW, i love cars.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks for the comment Vrajavala. The biggest problem with the Volt is that it is in production. I am not too critical about the government intervention, because we waste so much money on other things that are so much more useless. I have a link at the bottom to another story that I wrote explaining why "America should support the Volt". Check it out if you feel have some free time.


feenix profile image

feenix 4 years ago

Hey, Mich,

I believe that by taking the time to write and publish this hub, you performed a public service. And that is because this is a very informative and educational piece.

Personally, I'd rather spend $40,000+ for a gas-guzzling 2012 Cadillac CTS Sedan than for a "green" Chevy Volt.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

I think that I would go along with you on that one. The only way I would touch an electric car is if it was comparable in price and I didn't have to but gasoline ever again.


strkngfang profile image

strkngfang 4 years ago

Great article & probably the best and most honest truth about the Chevy Volt yet. I also wanted to like it as well but don't. I can go over two weeks at an average of 33 mpg on regular fuel in my Honda Fit, that cost me a mere 16,000. The biggest thing people don't take into account with the Volt and the Leaf are the mpg figures are not taking into account anything but driving. No heat, air conditioning, radio, defroster etc, that all uses electric power. I bet in the dead of winter, this car would be lucky to travel 15 miles on a charge?

The Prius, while still ugly is the best bang for your hybrid buck out there. Less than 25,000, 53mpg and regular gas. I'll stick with my Honda Fit and my 250cc scooter for now.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

I saw one of those Prius' driving the other day. I think that I can pay a few more dollars for gas. That thing is hideous! Thank you for the comment strkngfang.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

I have to agree with you again. Just like the Prius, it is a clumsy attempt to gain cultural and political favor for the appearance of being green. 30 miles isn't even an average commute (20 miles each way every day)!

I have to drive a Prius at work and it's an uncomfortable and clunky car. When the engine kicks on while in park, the whole thing jerks forward like it's about to take off. That is not safe. Not to mention the 10K dollar batteries that need to be replaced after 5 or 10 years plus the environmental damage from building the car and dumping the batteries - it's no better than building a standard economy car today.

I'm all for electric, but right now the best solution is to run a vehicle entirely on electric and have a small diesel engine that recharges the batteries and / or generator where there is no physical link from the engine to the wheels - that should be electrically driven only - THAT would gain great fuel savings because it would be way more efficient than all the gearing required for regular drivetrains through transmissions and differentials and drive / axle shafts and so on.

Of course I'm dreaming of the past - I think Jay Leno has a car like that from the early 1900's - the Owen Magnetic.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Yes, we are trying to chase down the technology of 1900. How about some Stanley steamers! We can all drive around with boilers. Thanks for the comment. I would have to see more about electrical engines without a drive train. I think that we probably need a transmission for the torque multiplier.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

Yes! I love steam, I don't know why that technology was never developed.

I have never heard of a torque multiplier, but it wouldn't require a direct physical connection to the wheels would it? I'm thinking of a basic electric fan as an example of electromagnets driving the blades. I believe Volvo was working on an all electric concept vehicle where each wheel was electrically powered.


michiganman567 profile image

michiganman567 4 years ago from Michigan Author

I would imagine that you need to reduce the engine RPM to the wheel RPM would you not? Im not that familiar with electric engines.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

Not at all, the engine only charges the battery which drives the wheels. That's why I hate hybrids, they are not pure electric. Think of an electric golf cart that runs off of batteries which must be charged at night. The engine would only be there to charge the vehicle batteries as needed, and electrically driven wheels are way more efficient because there is no loss of horsepower from engine to shaft via transmissions and differentials plus there is regenerative braking. The prius by the way, does use regenerative braking, but you have to pull the shift lever back in order to utilize it, I don't know why they didn't just make it automatic when you hit the brake pedal. Maybe Volvo will do a better job.

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