Friday, January 1, 2016

Chevy pulls out phallic symbol in hopes 2016 Volt doesn't flop like earlier model

This image from a Chevrolet Web site shows a male model holding the end of the charging cable for the 2016 Volt, a second-generation plug-in hybrid. The blatant phallic symbol seems to be a desperate move by parent General Motors, and it might make you wonder what the model is doing with his other hand.
With a 240-volt outlet installed at home, the 2016 Volt's battery recharges at a glacial pace -- only 11.7 miles per hour -- compared to more than 30 miles per hour in an all-electric Tesla Model S. What would a Volt owner do on the road, stay in a hotel overnight?


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

The first-generation Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid had the longest battery range in the industry, yet only 100,000 units were sold worldwide in 2010-15.

Chevrolet is hoping to avoid a similar debacle with the 2016 Volt, displaying a phallic symbol on its official site, and exaggerating improvements in the second-generation gas-electric car.

Now, the Volt has an all-electric range of 53 miles, but after that you'll have to rely on fossil fuel, aggravating air pollution and climate change.

Still, General Motors says "Chevy expects owners to go more than 1,000 miles between fill-ups by charging regularly."

How much that electricity costs isn't mentioned, though Chevy says the car can be programmed to take advantage of off-peak electric rates.


This smells

No such off-peak rates are available to homeowners in New Jersey, and I would expect the same is the case in many other states.

Referring to its 1.5-liter gasoline engine, Chevy calls the Volt "an electric car with a back-up plan."

Chevy's seeming desperation leads some observers to wonder whether the new Volt's high price will result in as big of a flop as the old model.

The 2016 Volt is available in LT trim at an MSRP of $33,170 and the Premier is $37,520 (before tax, title, license and dealer fees).


Bolt price rises

The automaker's all-electric Bolt still is nearly a year away from going on sale, yet Chevy already has revised the expected price to "under $40,000" from a starting price of $30,000.

Nissan is the sales leader when it comes to all-electric cars, and even BMW, a relatively small carmaker, started selling a purely electric car last year.

See: An electric car in name only