Through the past two years, General Motors and Chevrolet has done everything possible to get motorists charged up on the idea of the plug-in hybrid Volt. Weathering the company’s bankruptcy with the promise that the Chevrolet Volt would employ a new way Detroit would build automobiles. Following an extensive evaluation period, the Chevrolet Volt has finally met their first owners.
Continuing on the highly-publicized life of the Chevrolet Volt, the announced first owner of the extended range vehicle is a retired airline pilot Jeffrey Kaffee. Taking delivery of his car in the presence of a photo-op, Kaffee was said to have traded in his Toyota Prius for the Chevrolet hybrid. Though Jeffrey Kaffee was the first owner to take possession of his 2011 Chevrolet Volt, the first publicly sold example of this car was actually bought by NASCAR team owner and automotive dealership network magnate Rick Hendrick. Acquiring the initial Volt in a charity auction for $225,000 as a benefit to the Detroit Public Schools Foundation, Hendrick also has the privilege of owning the first Chevrolet Camaro as well as the first Corvette ZR-1 through a similar acquisition.
As the keys of first Chevrolet Volts are finally being handed off, the pioneering plug-in hybrid vehicle will now see itself either rising or falling to its own magnificence. Like the early days of the Toyota Prius, General Motors has already reported that the Volt is being built at a financial loss. This is indeed a concern when a vehicle smaller than a Chevy Cruze sporting a sticker price over $40,000. Some critics are outraged as GM (a group some people still believe it’s creatively cheeky calling the business “Government Motors”) is choosing to produce such a far-reaching concept rather than focusing on solely ‘bread and butter’ vehicle. Citing the fact they are building for what is believed to be the future American roads, some might argue that a choice to turn a back to the technology promoted in the Volt could bring doom to the American auto industry. As we know already, Toyota’s persistence has paid off with a profitable hybrid propulsion system and the respect as the leader in the industry.
Complaints have also been leveled against the fuel efficiency and the actual personal economic benefits of the Chevrolet Volt. As the Volt received multiple accolades which included the Motor Trend Car of the Year for 2010, some have voiced their own opinions strongly against the car as some ‘tree-hugger’ dream machine. Personally, if there is a car to cater the such specific tastes, I welcome the newest group of automotive fans.
It seems amusing that General Motors always seems to have an universal legion of critics. Today, it is a forward-thinking gasoline/electric hybrid, a matter of a few years ago it was a popular four-wheel drive vehicle. Back when the Chevrolet Volt was regarded as a mere pipe dream, another General Motors product earned the distaste of organized North American groups. The Hummer H2 was angrily criticized for being an arrogantly large sport utility with a claim for burning the most gasoline of any vehicle sold to the public. As the price of fuel skyrocketed, the allure of the Hummer brand dissipated as the car market drastically changed. Based on a variation of the GMT-800 chassis, the vehicle was once part of the best-selling platform in North America. Able to build the Hummer H2 at a much lower cost than the premium price tag, the Hummer H2 was a highly profitable product when their car sales were flattering.
Just as it is considered offensive for some to shame others for the automobile they drive, skeptism of modern powertrains could make some look as misguided as the critics against personal computers in the 1970s. Of course, with the passage of this information, the population in general reacted on their own accord to embrace new technology. Now that the Chevrolet Volt enters the market providing primary electric propulsion with a gasoline engine back-up, we’ll soon see if an advent of another new age is upon this continent.
Information and photo source: General Motors