Among plug-in hybrids, there is no nameplate selling better than the Chevrolet Volt in the US at the moment. In the plug-in market that includes battery-electric vehicles, the Volt is second only to the Tesla Model S in sales.

As of November this year, there have been 21,048 units of the series-parallel hybrid stateside, only about 2,000 units shy of the Tesla sedan. At a distant third spot, the Ford Fusion Energi sits with close to 15,000 sales.

While that looks a lot like success, the figures for the Chevy Volt could be a lot higher – like astronomically higher. There’s plenty of potential for success that is still being left untapped.

How’s that? Well, a recent survey by consulting group Altman Vilandrie & Co. via Hybrid Cars revealed that out of over 2,500 US consumers, about 60 percent have no exposure whatsoever to plug-in vehicles.

Lack Of Effort

What’s more is that 80 percent of survey respondents have never experienced riding or driving in one before. Complemented by another study from the Sierra Club which reveals that automakers are spending significantly less on promoting their electrified nameplates compared to gas-driven models, it suggests that GM isn’t doing enough for the Volt.

Earlier this year the Detroit automaker admitted that its dealers are generally not as well versed as customers when it comes to its top-selling plug-in ride, so lack of support for the vehicle isn’t exactly a revelation.

But still, for an automaker that tops all others in advertising expenditure ($3.5 billion in 2015, as per Advertising Age), shouldn’t there be more effort to tap into the vast sales potential of an incredibly promising vehicle?


Art Murphy · December 27, 2016 at 7:39 pm

I am 80 years old, a retired aerospace engineer, and I have never had a better vehicle that my 2014 Volt. In August 2014 I bought the Volt and also had a 6.3 kW solar system installed. I now have over 32K miles and you might say I drive mostly on sunshine. My electric range is about 38 miles but the second generation Volt is supposed to get 53 miles. But I’m glad I bought when I did.

Dave - Phoenix · December 28, 2016 at 7:05 am

I am driving my second Volt having leased a 2012 Volt after being on the waiting list for a year, then buying a 2014 Volt when that lease expired.

The Volt is, without a doubt, the best vehicle I have owned in my 35 years of buying cars. Not using gas was my motivation for buying the Volt, but it was the performance from having 270 lbs of torque at 0 RPM that put a smile on my face. Going from gas to electric is like going from propeller to jet.

Us Volt owners are also frustrated with the lack of advertising by GM and the resulting lack of understanding of the Volt by the general public.

The Volt is a revolutionary car, without a revolution. It is an electric car that does not have to rely on the public charging network. But…. The revolution has failed to occur primarily due to a lack of understanding by the general public. One has to believe that profitability is a factor, and it is the primary reason for GM’s lack of advertising. Hopefully in time this will change…

Tom Matthews · December 28, 2016 at 8:37 am

It’s always been my impression that GM has never supported the Volt. It’s surprising since the car is loved by its owners (mine is from 2011 and was the first in my North Carolina county). The only conclusion I can come to is that Chevy loses money on every Volt they sell and dealers have little incentive since primarily electric cars have little by way of maintenance. The cost for the Volt, because of the cost of batteries, may cause them to lose money with each sale, a trade-off that companies may be willing to take if they can make it up on service which, in the case of the Volt, is unlikely.

I’ve owned a Prius when they first came out and the Volt when it first came out and I believe the design and engineering for the Volt is as good as any car made today outside of a few $100K+ cars. The Volt is peppy, responsive and fun and since most Volt owners primarily drive it on pure electric, maintenance is minimal.

Chevy could sell far more of them if they only advertised a little. It remains puzzling why they would not.

TOM · December 28, 2016 at 5:57 pm

100% agreed. I have a 2013 model wit 42k miles and no problems. It’s a perfect car. It inspired me to get solar which is paying for itself in 5.5 years while still providing all my fuel costs too. We’ll, virtually all my fuel costs. In my 42k miles I have used 36 gallons of gas, total. That’s well over 1000mpg.

Couldnt be happier.

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