2016 Chevrolet Volt Ads Target LEAF, Prius – Videos


Volt Or LEAF?

Volt Or LEAF?

A pair of what can only be described as competitive/attack advertisements have surfaced for the 2016 Chevrolet Volt.

These ads have debuted in their extended “internet versions” – both running north of 2 minutes a pop.  GM will also air condensed versions of the same ads for the television audience.  We will add the TV spots when they become available.

The first ad takes direct aim at the battery-electric Nissan LEAF:

“Watch and see what happens when people find themselves stuck in a situation out of their control.”

We are happy to see GM advertising the new 2016 Volt strongly, but what stresses us a little about the Volt spot in regards to the LEAF, is that it actually seems to promote dis-information about Nissan’s EV, by choosing to reference only the base LEAF’s 84 mile range, ignoring the new 2016 model’s 107 mile abilities.

And we aren’t sure what message GM is conveying about their own 82 mile Spark EV, or upcoming 200 mile Bolt for that matter.

As this ad just hit the internet, and we assume was made long before Nissan’s announcement on the new range (September 10th), we hope that GM ultimately decides to remove this reference, as the ad could still stand on its own without it.


Meanwhile, a second,  more amusing advertisement targets the Toyota Prius – which we feel is actually fairly clever:

“Technology changes fast. Watch as people are shown technology from the recent past and react to how far things have come.”

“Do you know what else has come a long way? The Chevy Volt. With its state-of-the-art battery technology, take charge with greater range and leave those outdated competitors behind.”

2016 Chevrolet Volt Window Sticker (click to enlarge)

2016 Chevrolet Volt Window Sticker (click to enlarge)

In the end, we probably would have preferred if GM would have focused more on the 2016 Chevrolet Volt itself, and its pretty exceptional qualities.

53 miles of electric range + 42 MPG thereafter =  big savings over petrol cars and better for the environment.

It is pretty much says it all right there in the window sticker.


Categories: Chevrolet, Nissan

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

142 Comments on "2016 Chevrolet Volt Ads Target LEAF, Prius – Videos"

newest oldest most voted

……….they ARE Volt ads, at least!

Hard to tell their Volt ads. Its just an ad making fun of electric vehicles. This from the crushers of the EV1. Further evidence they haven’t changed.

Yet they call themselves an electric vehicle.
Sending mixed messages GM?

Maybe it is time to question why hybrids still use Ni-MH and bring this to consumers attention.

Trouble is that these ads have become a lot true in that the leaf got a 25% range raise and they have built up more quick chargers were the leafs are common.

These ads are total failures.

These commercials are confusing and insult the consumers intelligence all while not explaining the damn car. It still doesn’t explain in plain English to the consumer what the Volt is and what it can do that is better than the other alternatives. What about a simple commercial with quick cuts starting with showing a Volt owner coming in at night after a hard day of work pulling into the garage. Camera cuts to dash and shows 20 miles on the battery left on the dash. Cuts to him/her plugging in to a simple 120V outlet that everyone recognizes and understands. Cut to morning unplug and cut to 53 miles range on battery on dash. Cut to morning commute where customer silently jumps and whirs from a red light change to switch lanes ahead of another car. Cut to owner pulling up in front of office, looks at door and then up to his office window where he sits. Cut to owner smiling, putting it back in gear, hitting hold, cut to electric miles on dash switching to gas guage showing 370 miles of gas range on dash. Finally cut aerial showing owner twisting up the coast on the PCH or… Read more »

Confusing? Hardly. Each ad sucessfully frames the competition in the eyes of the public. Nissan can get stuck. Prius is old tech.

Chevy is touting its advantages as it should.

Advantages of what? Never a plus for the Volt. They could throw in any gasser and make the same comparison. Heck the Volt gets much less electric range then becomes just another gas car. No mention of any value to electric range.

For the majority of the population, the Volt will drive all electric for their daily travels. While giving them the flexibility to take long drives. The only EVs available now which are viable, are made by Tesla

The discussion surround this ad. There is little to no mention made of the Volt being electric. The vast majority of the time is trying to traumatize the public that you’ll get stranded by an electric car. You can get stranded in a gas car too if you go too far. The Volt could have been replaced with any gas car and the ad would have stayed almost exactly the same except for a few words casually stating it also electric, almost like its an embarrassment.

True, but each ad is two minutes long.

The elevator ad was painful to watch that long, even as a Volt owner. My grade: D+

The second ad was better since the beginning was at least funny. But it still took a long time to convey such a simple message. My grade: C+

Low grades because neither ad quickly conveys what is great about the Volt.

These are the internet ads. Rule of the internet is it has to happen in 2 minutes or less. The TV ads will be shorter. TV rules are 60 seconds or 30 seconds.

Bingo ^^^

In the world of advertising, anything over 15 sec and can’t be wrapped in 30 is epic failure!

In fact, if you are advertising on the web, anything over 5 sec goes back to the drawing board (in case you wonder – the’s the amount of time you get on a Youtube video before viewers can click “Skip This Ad”).

One likely scenario on why these ads were made:
“So how have we been advertising the Volt in the past 5 years?” said one exec.
“Well, we compare it against the LEAF and Prius. That’s how we did it,” said another.
“Did those ads sell [lots of Volts]?”
“No, not since 2013. Never hit any target that our CEO had made,” responded by the 2nd exec.
“Do we have the resource [money, time] to come up with a new ad to sell the car?” said the 1st exec.
“Well, we blew pretty much all budgets on Tomorrowland, for that split second showing.” said an assistant.
“Does anyone here want to spend some time, or even burn some midnight oil, to come up with a new ad?” asked by the 1st exec.

(10 seconds later).
“OK, we’ll go with the anti-LEAF and anti-Prius ads,” said the decision maker.

I dunno. I think that kind of thinking is done by marketing execs that don’t understand the tech themselves.

A gas car can get stuck as well if it runs out of gas. Sure you can walk and get gas but no one does that. They call AAA. Same thing would more or less happen if you ran out of electricity. They aren’t being honest but rather taking a cheap shot at the range anxiety fears not to mention they aren’t being honest about the Leaf’s range which is now 107 miles.

I can’t believe i’m defending the Prius but the new Plugin Prius will be using a Li-ion battery. The regular Prius will have an Eco version that uses one as well. So again, not being honest by falsely claiming old weaknesses that your opponents no longer have.

Being dishonest might come back to bite them. Just like that stupid GM truck add with the grizzly bear and 2 cages with one made from aluminum (Ford truck) and the other steel (GM truck). Then a week after the ad comes out GM announces that they will be switching their frames to aluminum as well!

Do you really think GM should explain the Volt in detail to common people?

I seriously doubt that is a good thing as half of the population is below average IQ…

My description wasn’t that detailed. It shows 5 things in 30 seconds all in visual form that is easy to understand.

What isn’t easy to understand for the average person after watching these commercials is why the Volt is different than all the other plugins or EVs. It just says it uses gas but it’s electric. The average person has no flippin idea what that means.

I drive a Volt and most people understand it after I spend 10 seconds explaining it too them when 10 seconds before they had no clue how it works.

If I were to explain to them what it wasn’t like these commercials do instead by saying what it is they would still be confused.

If I said “you won’t get stranded like an EV cause it isn’t an EV. And it’s not like a Prius because the Prius is old.” That person’s next question would be “Enough with the riddles? so what the hell is it then?”

It is an EREV…

*then you would have to spend the next 5 years arguing with BEV purists about what is or isn’t an EREV*


Sad, but true.

Actually, half the population is below the mean IQ, not the average.

Even so, that still leaves a pretty good chunk of people that can understand. Many of us have done a 30s explanation at a gas pump so we know it’s possible.

Mean and average are the same thing. You are probably thinking of median.

Volt target market is above-average (and above-median) IQ. That said, ads should focus on “cheap, clean electricity for everyday driving, gas for long trips”. Volt lets you choose the best fuel for the job. Leaf and Prius don’t. Choice is good.

Your ad sounds good.

Terrible ads. If they are proud of the newest Volt, talk to it. Put some excitement around it. Make us want to buy it. These ads are lame at best!

I’m pretty sure GM intended these ads to be controversial. In that respect they are not a failure, they definitely succeeded in butt-hurting Toyota/Nissan fanboys.

The one with the Prius is decently acceptable.. but I do not care for the one with the Leaf. Besides the fact the range number is no longer accurate, it really just paints a picture that is not realistic. Basically, they are saying that people must get stranded all of the time in Leafs, and that just really doesn’t happen. And what does that say about their own product the Spark EV. Funny how they didn’t have that one there instead of a Leaf. And what does that say about the future Bolt?

Spark EV will be going away. Old tech now.. like the Prius.

The Prius may be old tech but it won’t be going away soon.

Attacking other brands is weak, step your game up Chevy and build the damn Bolt.

Lol. You’re going with that?

Sega does what Nintendon’t, was one of the best slogans I always hated. It is their good right to show their advantages. Nissan could make a clip, about a Volt and a Prius driver talking about saving the world and then step into their cars. You hear their petrol engines while a quiet Leaf runs by. Those three cars share a customer base and the reason of a good advert is convincing the customer to buy the advertised car.

These ads focus almost entirely on the “bad” aspects of their competitors, and do it in an indirect way. Too clever for their own good IMHO. Negative ads are dangerous territory and invite responses that can really rip you up.

Where’s the ad with the Volt launching off the line from a stop light and the involuntary grin on the first-time drivers’ faces? The OMG-this-is-quiet comments as it cruises in all-electric mode? The “it gets ___ miles per fill-up AND only costs___?” surprised looks?

Great marketing sells the Volt on the Volt’s merits. Bad marketing anti-sells the competitors.

Honestly, the “fun to drive” aspect is pretty hard to convey in a 30 second spot. Toyota could make a commercial with a Prius driver flooring it at a light, with the driver looking all happy, and that still wouldn’t really be saying much (except maybe that the Prius driver likes to waste gas).

Butts need to get in seats to experience the fun to drive factor.

Maybe a 30 second Volt ad showing it pulling a Tesla Model S 85 0-30 would be effective. You’d only need less than 10 seconds of air time too!

whoops, strike the “30 second” part

An old advertising maxim says: comparison ads work best when making a favorable comparison against a better known, more successful competitor; not so well if you compare yourself with lesser competition.

IOW, the Prius ad honors this rule, and probably will be very effective.

Not so much the LEAF ad other than to present the Volt as a better electrified vehicle than a BEV without extended range capability — this ad does help define the Volt as a superior version of an electric car rather than being merely a hybrid; perhaps that is the best reason for running it.

But it does let people know you wont get stuck in a Volt. It’s amazing how many people don’t know that.

And it’s just as amazing that you won’t get stuck with a BEV too, even if we are dealing with, say, “i.”

Even more amazing – you can get stuck on ANY vehicle – cars, ships, planes, if you continue to operate it once you’ve gone past its capacity.

You are failing to acknowledge the point made. You mention ‘capacity’ – can you give credit to the Volt for having a dual capacity capability – one where most daily driving needs are met under battery power, and its second capacity which allows virtually nonstop capability on any public road… gasoline assisted at over 40 MPG.

No need to rent a gasoline car with the Volt on long drives.

I think that you are fixated on the “not getting stuck” part.

The point is pretty simple – NO VEHICLE WILL GET STUCK (barring from mechanical/electrical failure) AS LONG AS THE OPERATOR IS OPERATING IT WITHIN ITS GIVEN CAPACITY (or range, or allowance).

Because the flip side of YOUR point: well, I’ll just get a bargain price Prius hybrid: longer range than the Volt, cost a lot less, and can actually save a lot more fuel than the Volt on long drives. Best of all, a Volt will be stuck on the road, whereas “my” Prius will still be driving due to a even longer range. And that’s why it’s pointless to say, “a vehicle will get stuck.”

Hope you get it.

Yes, I get a point from the ad – the Volt’s much greater traveling capacity over the LEAF is an important advantage.

Stop thinking like someone who really understands electric vehicles.

People like the _idea_ of electric, but they worry about the range (and cost). Talk about BEVs to someone and it won’t take long before they tell you what range+charging speed they’d need.

I agree that they may have taken to too long make their point, but I think they made effective points:
– Volt is an electric car without the limitations of typical electric cars
– Volt is new, Prius is old. Importantly it’s not saying the Prius _was_ bad, it’s saying that technology has moved on and the Volt is the new technology.

Both ads are way too long. Still have no idea why they’re bothering with the Leaf ad. Nissan is selling just over 1000 Leafs a month. Not exactly a big target market. What do they want to do, steal 50 sales? Plus with the Bolt on the horizon it seems self defeating.

The Prius ad on the other hand is good. Toyota has for too long been coasting on its old technology. Pointing out that the Prius technology is outdated might actually get Toyota off its corporate butt. Then again, likely not, all its time is being devoted to its move from environmental CA to polluting proud Texas.

I’ve read these 2 ads will be cut down into 30 second spots for TV.

Yes, that is true. We mentioned that in our first article yesterday saying these ads were coming…but didn’t transfer that bit over here.

Will do that now, a good addition. Internet ads are 2 mins, TV is 30 seconds – but same spot, just condensed.

Leaf = electric car.
Volt is like a Leaf but doesn’t get stuck, so Volt is a better electric car.

Really !!! ?? More GM marketing failure! But I guess at least it’s something. Taking jabs at the Leaf is a non starter as they are (two different type of cars).

The Prius one was funny, but the Leaf one was kind of meh.

They could’ve simplified the Leaf one by having the Volt drive by a tow truck, that has a Leaf, or better yet, a Mirai, on the back of it to show off “no range anxiety”.

The Prius is still has the best non plug-in mileage of any car out there. There have been several improvements over the years. To me, criticizing it as “old” looks stupid.

Yes, the Volt has some advantages, but they were mostly not even mentioned.

Real world usage puts the Volt well beyond the Prius’ mileage ratings. Both cars have been in drivers’ hands for years, and the numbers speak for themselves – the Volt is the more efficient car in real life.

The elevator ad is tricksy.

@DonC – As is, these ads are OK for the Super Bowl, but too long for repetitive use on prime time TV. However, both would be able to be substantially edited down without losing the bottom line message. Cut out much of the stranded elevator shots in the LEAF ad; much of the old-tech table demo in the Prius ad.

The points are good, and I’m happy to see Chevy getting aggressive with their messaging. Now it’s a matter of follow through….

I’ve had my Leaf since July 2014. 32,000 km Number of times I’ve been stranded?
ZERO !! duh

Way to attack your own green products, GM (ie, the Chevy Spark, which has even less range than the LEAF, and the upcoming Chevy Bolt). ::smh::

But, at least they are advertising. OK, Nissan, time to return fire.

Precisely. Maybe something like, “So which company do you think has a Board of Directors tied to Big Oil? Or, “Which car do you think burns Dinosaurs?” Or, “Which car do you think the Koch Brothers want you to drive?” Or, “which car is better for the world your children will live in?”

Doesn’t your list of questions also include Nissan?

I love the “what if everything ran on gas”, best commercial ever!

The new Volt attack adds make me dis-like gm and Volt a little more. Bad move GM.

+100. LEAF ad was great. GM ads make me dislike GM. I thought they couldn’t top the ELR ad, but I was wrong.

Ad sux.

I dislike the anti-EV tone of the anti-LEAF ad. GM of all people should work to expand the pie rather than release yet another ad that seems to project disdain for electric vehicles.

Sure the LEAF has limited range. So go buy a gas car and forget EVs all together. Especially the Spark EV and Bolt.

Seems more like an ad for a VW TDI with 600 mile range. Why get stuck with a GM gasser also known as Volt.

This ad doesn’t promote EVs at all. GM could match up the LEAF against any gas car or truck and make the same statements.


pretty clear ads, and I do not think a current ad should include future competitors models- it is not here yet, so why talk about their future?

I don’t know that I agree. By the time people are able to buy a 2016 Volt, I suspect people will also be able to buy a 2016 Leaf with the longer range battery.

Chevy, you suck. I can’t wait for my Volt lease to end so I can be done with your sad company. Instead of creating a very desirable car, you made another fleet car that has to compete for attention. Make a better car!!!

Please name the 3 biggest problems you’ve had with your Volt that make you describe the corporation as “Sad”.

Will give you one problem that is more than enough.

It’s made by GM

My biggest problems:

1. Refused to retroactively make any improvements (hardware or software) to older Volts (i.e. Hold charge mode) for a fee or otherwise.

2. Refused to advertise the Volt and to require that the dealership network properly sell and support the car. Multiple visits to service departments to resolve simple issues, not following the service bulletins, performing large and unnecessary component swaps covered by warranty were some of my encounters.

3. Created a telematics system (and client apps) so unreliable and flawed that after gobs of frustration and calls for support it just became a joke. At the same time killed the open API and efforts to make voltstats.net really great.

4. Implemented a nonsense “safety” recall (auto shutoff) that resulted in decreased vehicle functionality and increased vehicle annoyance.

5. Would still rather see the EV fail than make one. After 15 years since the intro of the EV1 GM has yet to produce a serious EV and sell it world-wide.

Pardon me, make that 25 years (unveil was in 1990), a quarter of a freaking century and still no proper EV.

Enough problems to shake a stick at. Seems they do not really give a GD, imho, latest flubs with the roll out of the 2016 are another indication, that they really don’t have it all together.

vdiv wrote: “My biggest problems:” Since you make it into a kind of “emotional” topic, let us analyze your specific whining toward Volt in this case. “1. Refused to retroactively make any improvements (hardware or software) to older Volts (i.e. Hold charge mode) for a fee or otherwise.” Beside Tesla, is there any other automaker that does this? NO. So, either you are preaching for Tesla or you just like to hate on GM for this NON-unique situation. “2. Refused to advertise the Volt and to require that the dealership network properly sell and support the car. Multiple visits to service departments to resolve simple issues, not following the service bulletins, performing large and unnecessary component swaps covered by warranty were some of my encounters.” GM did plenty of ads. In fact, the early ads only generated political controversy that didn’t help the Volt at all. Combined with the fact that just about every internet I go to, it is full of Volt ads tells me that GM has choosen a “non-traditional” way of advertising. Now, as far as your complain at dealers go. Well, dealers suck, we all know that. But they are independently owned indentity. Some Chevy dealers… Read more »

Rather long rationalizations and explanations. The boat has sailed, GM knows it and is fighting dirty to bring it back, their true colors showing brighter than they have for a long while. They had a real second chance with the Volt in 2011 to change all that and they blew it, again. Luckily we no longer rely on them to electrify the automobile and that is really good considering what a marvelous job they are doing with that.

So you love Telsa and nothing else then…

Because nothing else would meet your complains listed above…

Actually I loved my Volt a lot more than I do the Model S. GM took that love away and it looks like they are keen on doing it with others who gave them a second chance and got their Volt when it seemed it mattered to GM and now they feel used.

This is a combined response to Vdiv and James. Yes, my 2011 VOlt, is un-upgradeable, buggy, (although the one update they did do solved most of that), and lacks a few what would be considered mandatory features, like traction control disable. I’ll add a few more, – the voice recognition is beyond-bad for certain people. WHen I’ve brought it in, the thing works for the technicians voice but wont work for mine at all. But the navigation map is quite a bit better than the horrid thing in my ELR, the intermittent wipers work (my ELR effectively has no intermittent wipers), and it doesn’t constantly move the driver’s seat around on you since there is no power operator. As far as the timed shut down patch, I refuse to have that done since that would interfere with my VOLT home made ‘vehicle to home’ system, as part of my emergency power system. BUT the car is as smooth or smoother than a Rolls-Royce, has better AER than any other 2011 PHEV, has a nice BOSE sound system, and the DVD player/hd recorder is convenient and intuitive to operate. Much better than anything on the ELR. The new VOlt SEEMS to… Read more »

Don’t let me leave the wrong impression. I loved my 2012 Volt, the best car GM has ever made. Hats off to their engineering team that made it happen. The person that drives it now thoroughly enjoys it.

I don’t like what GM did to spoil the experience and what they didn’t do to make it a success.

It looks like these ads are just part of a larger series, this one is kind of amusing:


Ok, all these ads stink. They don’t seem like real people. I’d be really upset with some guy shredding my phone, not casually talking about how it feels. Interesting how the Cruz looks like the Volt BTW, parked the same way.
“Thanks for not really killing our phones”. Ya, right. Not a real reaction.

The need an ad showing a bunch of Rube Goldberg contraptions that eventually accomplish simple things, then compare that to the Toyota Mirai.

Not sure what to make of these. On the one hand, at least they are advertising. On the other hand, wish they were better.

Seems like Marketing’s job is to instill a “desire to own”, not “my toy is better than your toy”. If you can make someone hunger or thirst for your product, they are yours for life. Somehow Tesla and Apple got there; people buy their products because they have “a desire to own”. Doesn’t matter what it is, they “just have to have it”.

I wish the Leaf ad had asked, “So, how would you like burning fossil fuels for 350 miles?” I’ve driven a leaf for three years and never been stuck. Not even close. I guess that happens in the fourth year?

While some take the Leaf advertisement as “Anti-EV”, I take it as anti-small-battery, and it takes on the (to me) nonsensical view that the “problem” with the Leaf is that we need ‘more public chargers’. I for one, would like to drive a moderate distance – 50 to 100 miles – and not have to plug in at all, and do it 100% on battery power. That is the one thing I DON’T like about my ELR, that I traded in my Roadster for. I liked in the Roadster I could go to Toronto, Or Rochester, or Jamestown, Or Olean, and not worry in the slightest about finding a public charger. Now the battery at that time in the Roadster was probably worth over $50,000. So its really very impractical since it was so expensive. I’d only consider a ‘small battery ev’ as a second or third car. The volt on the other hand can be your only car. I’m sure people do use a Leaf as their only car, but then there are people who live in NYC who don’t even own a car, and seem to get along. But for most of us that is not an option.… Read more »

Toyota in response needs to come out with a decent EV or PHEV, put a larger-than-normal battery in it, and equip it with a 6 kw charger for decent recharging speed at public locations.

Then they could pick on the volt for its ‘ultra-slow’ , under 3 kw charging rate at most public locations (200 volt).

How about they go after idiots who drive a gas guzzling pickup to work by themselves and never haul anything. That has got to be about 90% of all pickup owners of any pickup that is newer than 2010. They would never do that, even though it is the truth, as it would hit their bread-and-butter sales.

As a red-blooded flag-waving American, it is my birthright to drive the largest gas-guzzling SUV or pickup truck that I can or can’t afford. With pride, I chose to drive the Canyonero. 😀

They need to tell us why they are better than regular vehicles not a niche cars segment.

Wow, a bunch of whimpy and naive EV owners are all pissed off now.

Sorry to break it to you. You guys are lame and stupid for this fact that you are willing to defend a crappy product such as LEAF.

Let us be honest, why are we even celebrating it? It got limited range (even the upgraded version with 30kWh). It is slow and it still got a battery protection system that is question and it got questionable safety rating in IIHS crash testing.

Maybe this will light a fire under Nissan’s arse to produce something better. You don’t see GM daring to comparing the Volt with Tesla or BMW i3, do you? Maybe it is time for Nissan to produce something better.

The comparison with Prius is good. It is old tech and old hybrid. PHEV is replacing conventional hybrid. So, we are moved on.

As far as attacks on EV go, it should be attacked for making crappy EVs. Even the SparkEV is lame. It will be canned by GM soon. 200 miles BEV is what is needed.

I think your point would be better served without insulting everyone on the forum.

No, NOT everyone. Just those who shares that naive view.

Perhaps, but your post could come off as insulting everyone.

No. Not everyone. Only the anti-GM participants who deserve to be raked over the coals.

I’d like to take a moment here to think about what kind of aneurysm you would have if Nissan made this commercial, touted the 107 mile range/yet-to-be delivered 2016 LEAF, then showed a 2015 Volt and said it had 38 miles of range without mentioning or showing its new/soon to be released abilities.

“200 miles BEV is what is needed”

It will only be a couple of years after the Bolt is introduced when 200 miles will seem enemic.

Ok, here is my 2 cents (as I listen to Spotify on my “phone” over “headphones” that are “wireless”)… I have not seen the Leaf ad. What troubles me about this, based on others descriptions, is that there are a large number of people who own both a Volt and Leaf. I think this could potentially offend some of these folks. The Prius spot was better but with a strong caveat. Someone above mentioned how tricky comparison ads can be. The ones that are most successful tend to use a strong implication over naming specific products. In the case of this ad, the “researcher” could have just pointed to the Prius without naming it and said “here is an example of outdated technology, the battery design is 15 years old!.” Showing off the tech in the Volt is an effective approach (Toyota has been doing it for years) since it will appeal to younger generations looking to buy their first car as well as older folks who like tech and/or are tech savvy. But here is the thing, where GM fails is where they (and every other maker) exceed in advertising, and that is advertising the fun factor. That has… Read more »

Yes, I agree with your point.

PEVs need to get off the “saving the planet” or “saving money” bandwagon sterotype marketing. Those types of people are already deciding to buy PEVs. So it is NOT effective target audience.

With low gas price, PEVs need to focus on new aspect such as better ride, comfortable/quiet cabins, excellent performance (especially in daily driving).

The reply was directed at Scramjett

I am one of those offended by the anti Leaf ad. I have a Leaf and just ordered a 2016 Volt. These ads are just disgusting. Where the early Nissan ‘everything gas’ ad was funny and took a swipe at the Volt, this elevator ad is just stupid. As to the anti Prius one, well, one could argue that both cars use gas engines, the same fundamental tech in the Model T.
Explain the Volt as a sophisticated car, quiet, fast, clean in everyday driving and efficient when driving far. A car everyone can agree to, the vegan always on the bike neighbour, and the carpenter always hauling a six beer pack.
I think GM shows a lack of vision, too worried about the profits they currently make and somehow trying to limit the Volt to a niche car fighting in a market for greenies.

You’re missing the point of the ad. It’s about _consideration_. _Lots_ of people consider the Prius. Although the vast majority then reject it, Prius is a trusted brand. So with the Prius ad, Chevy is trying to say that if you’re considering the Prius, you need to know that it’s 15 years old and we have newer technology you should be looking at.


The +1 was reply to @Scramjet and his idea for a Volt ad.

“Can I take the stairs?” – So the Volt equals stairs and the Leaf equals elevator?

Volt is more like an escalator… If it lost power, you can still walk up.

LEAF is a slow/ugly/unsafe elevator.

Bah on GM. I am far less excited at the possibility of buying a Bolt now that I’ve seen that commercial trashing the Leaf. Think I’ll do my best to wait for Tesla model 3 or Nissan’s Bolt competitor. GM is sleazy trying to steal market from EV buyers instead of from the huge ICE market, and they’re sabotaging their own current and future full EV sales. Just another big auto trying to keep the ICE gravy train rolling by selling ICE and PHEV instead of full EV.

No loss – you clearly are not a GM prospect of any sort.

Pretty slimy of GM to run a fear based, negative campaign. That’s not good for the industry.

I’m on an extended Volt test drive now, it may work for commuters but the short range and slow charging is really annoying.

35 mpg is the common result on dirty gasoline.

After watching the second ad, GM should be careful. The new Prius uses LI batteries, doesn’t it?

The whole negative ad campaign gives insight to the mindset at GM and only makes me want to support the competition and gasoline free EV driving even more.

Maybe. No one knows for sure and Toyota is not saying. Toyota kind of painted themselves into a corner by dumping on Li-Ion batteries but failing to come up with a suitable replacement. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 2016 retained the NiMH, at the very least in lower trim levels. The PiP has used Li-Ion since its intro and I expect that will continue.

The Japanese sales staff manual for the 2016 Prius was recently leaked. A choice of a Li-ion battery is confirmed for Japan, and the U.S. most definitely will also get a Li-ion option.

The Japanese domestic market will get the following Prius trim levels:

The E (Eco) trim will use Li-ion and come in 2wd only. It’s the lightest weight model, achieved by using a smaller gas tank, smaller window washer fluid reservoir, eliminating some mechanical pieces, and eliminating some interior trim pieces. The percentage increase in mileage on the Japanese cycle over the last gen Prius would equate to a 61 mpg EPA rating in the U.S..

The S (Standard) trim model will use a NiMH battery for both the 2wd and 4wd models.

The A (high end) trim model will use Li-ion in the the 2wd model and NiMH in the 4wd model. The expected EPA gas mileage rating for the 2wd model is 55 mpg.

sven said:

“It’s the lightest weight model, achieved by using a smaller gas tank, smaller window washer fluid reservoir, eliminating some mechanical pieces, and eliminating some interior trim pieces.”

Good grief, someone over at Toyota has been sharing the same joint with Jony Ive! (Think Jony’s war for thin).

While I agree these ads could have been better (i.e. they are a little rough), they go right to the basics which is good. This includes:

1. The average consumer does not understand electric cars.

2. No 30-120 second spot is EVER going to make them understand electric cars (much less PHEVs or EREVS, etc.).

3. The average consumer thinks “If I get an electric car, it will run out of juice and I will have to charge it overnight like my phone”….that’s not for me.

4. The average consumer may not understand exactly how a Prius works, but after 15+ years of sales they have all heard of them and basically understand “they get good gas mileage”

These commercials play to the strengths (both perceived and real) of the Volt over its competition and understand the audience who will be viewing these spots. No one on this forum is going to be persuaded one way or the other by these spots…we aren’t the audience.

Finally, I agree with Scramjett that excitement and emotion sell cars…see Audi’s new A3 E-tron commercial for a good example (which actually makes fun of Priuses and the entire green movement to boot!).

“No one on this forum is going to be persuaded one way or the other by these spots…we aren’t the audience”


Most people on this board already made up their minds on which PEVs to buy. They are just here to attack other people’s choices or defending their own…

That conclusion might not be as accurate, or easy to come to, as it would seem to be on face value.

It is true that most of the people in the comment community have already made up their minds on what EV is best for them, and no ad is going to change their minds, because (for the most part) the people here discussing EVs back and forth are extremely well-versed/intelligent when it comes to the tech…much moreso than anything ‘new’ that could be learned in an ad.

However, while there is 400-500 people here commenting regularly each month – it takes a certain confidence (and desire to interact) to wade into the discussion.

The vast majority who come to IEV to check out a story, or learn about EVs, are the more casually interested – who never comment. Many readers often arrive via other more general sites or search engines.

Wow! So a lot of those people must be outside evs.

Good point.

It is like Facebook. There are those who post frequently, those who vote frequently and those who are just “stalkers” that never make their “presence” known. =)

I believe that there are lots of readers who probably never bother to read the comments or even make it past the first dozen or so comments…

Then there are people like me who read the first few comments and the last few comments to cut out all of the bickering that goes on in the middle (unless I’m part of it *snicker*).

If you really want to see blogger comments go off the rails (you’ll get the pun in a moment), you should check out the California High Speed Rail blog. It gets pretty crazy over there, especially when the guy who runs it hasn’t posted in awhile.

Meanwhile Tesla has yet to make an Advertisement

That’s because they are making BEV’s people actually WANT !!

What’s funny in a way is that the anti-Prius ad self-dings the Volt as it has a 130 year old technology on board too, the ICE.

Wheels are over 4,000 years old and they are still used on Tesla.

Plastics have been used for decades whether it is on the iPhone or on the CDs as in the ads.

The ads was about battery type. So, your point missed the target.

Has it? What’s the point of the Volt?

What is your point of whining then?

The ads was specifically aimed at the battery used in the Prius (non plugin version) or the fact that Prius is 100% reliant on gasoline.

Mixing your own emotional with logic doesn’t make your point more valid…

So they compared apples and oranges.

No, it is more like comparing a navel orange against a grapefruit…

Liked the 2nd ad(somewhat), hated the first. Others have already pointed this out but the first ad, besides being insulting, is misleading. People are not getting stranded like this. They plan for the range of the car, so it is actually stupid. 2nd ad at least pointed out that the VOLT has new technology, etc. How about a little more explanation of what is better about the VOLT, why the newer technology helps the driving experience?


Ironically, the fax machine is still thriving in one country: Japan, the home country of Toyota and the Prius. 😀 Fax can be found in “59 percent of Japanese homes”!



“…seems to promote dis-information about Nissan’s EV, by choosing to reference only the base LEAF’s 84 mile range, ignoring the new 2016 model’s 107 mile abilities…”

I have a Leaf and a Volt. After 30K miles I’ve lost two battery bars in the Leaf and I do not live in a particularly hot climate. (St. Louis)

For it’s next Volt ad, GM could pay homage to the “Got Milk?” commercials by poking fun at the LEAF with a “Got Bars?” internet ad. For the Bolt, GM could also poke fun at the LEAF with a “Got Range?” ad.

I’m in Virginia and lost 2 bars also on my Leaf. that is why I’m picking up i3 REX tomorrow. Nissan’s battery tech is poor at best.

These ads pose such a sharp contrast to Tesla, who built a brand on “We want to accelerate the EV revolution and help build a sustainable future for the world.” A huge selling point of EV (both BEV and PHEV) for many people is the good feeling that you’re helping to create that future. As a friend put it, driving a Volt is like giving the earth a hug. 🙂

I wish that Volt was making more positive ads that helped push that message. I own a Volt — and my biggest question when looking into purchasing an EV was whether I could find one that fit my parking-in-a-carport-without-electricity, sometimes driving-between-northern-and-southern-california current life situation.

So something more like…

Chevrolet Volt — flexibility to make you, and your hectic life part of the sustainable EV future….now.

With due respect, you message suggestion is rather imcomprehensible for the mass market. Too oblique.

These ads are targeted toward the mass market. I think GM has patiently figured out the EVangelists, many who post here, are largely unforgiving and therefore not worth catering to. So it’s no surprise the GM haters chime in with their negative takes.

Yeah, you’re right. I realized as I was posting that I wasn’t finding the right words to capture my thought, and it doesn’t come across well.

I do see the positivity I was trying to focus on expressed in other comments in this thread, and I think some of the other writers did a better job of showing how the ad could have good energy, while still reaching the general population.

Sarah, the funny/sad part of the 2016 Volt is they only increased the charging rate by about 10%, less than they increased the range (about 30%), when tbey could have at leased made an option to pay and have double the original 3.3 kW charging rate at the common public level of 6.6 kW!

To make the new Volt even better, they could have at least also added a CCS DC fast charging option, since they hate CHAdeMO! Imagine getting another 40 miles electric range in just 10 minutes! (Where the CCS is available, at least!)

Finaly, GM reps have stated in the past – “We are not in the infrastructure business!” – and that will bite them in the but in going to the bolt! It also does not support the Volt!

Tesla understands that bith long ra ge and easy charging options need to exist to make people move, and are being pro-active, while GM is still reacting, and these ads pretty much show that.

Volt drive train…good. Volt car…too small for me.
Volt charging options…too limited.

Yeah — the upgrade to 6.6 charging would actually have been the difference between whether I tried to hold out for a Gen 2 volt, since I actually do pay for public charging, and it’s by the hour.

Great job GM. The new Volt wipes the floor of everything except for the Teslas.

The ads were meant to be controversial and all these comments are evidence of success.

I especially like the prius comparison because it’s so damn true.

Is fear the main argument that Chevrolet would have to sell more of its “not totally” electric car? I am disappointed.

So the 2016 VOLT is not out yet.
It’s get stuck in gas lines, muffler shops and emissions inspections.


I own both a Volt and a Leaf. During the first year of the Volt, I drove over 12,000 miles and filed the gas tank only 4 times. That would make a great commercial. I averaged nearly 500 miles per gallon the first year. That would make a great commercial. Compared to the Volt, the Prius is a Hummer. That should be a commercial, not one comparing the Prius to a VHS tape and other outdated technology. Many Volt owners like me try to never run on gas. I want to drive electric as much as a I can. That’s why I bought an electric car. It’s a fantastic car but seemingly so little of what it actually does is in the public realm. I also own a Leaf that has 17,000 miles. These cars both offer a much better driving experience than any gas car I’ve ever driven. I am disappointed with the Volt/Leaf ad because it adds to the fear that so many uninformed people have and that is range anxiety and it does nothing to educate the public on basic questions such as how to charge? Where to charge? Driving experience? Money saving (it costs me about… Read more »

Whether the Leaf has a transmission depends on your definition, but the Volt has quite a complicated one.

The really sad thing for me is the number of people who really don’t care about using gas. They are not interested in learning about alternatives because they just don’t see using gas as a problem.

I didn’t take the first Ad as anti EV, just anti inconvenience. I like the latest Volt a lot because it is a good hybrid and its pluggin performance is pure EV. I think that was the point right?

Not sure that just saying the Prius is obsolete because of the battery type is sound. The gas mileage performance is still the best. Just not great EV performance. Again, the Volt wins for me.

1. The Leaf ad is just terrible all around, regardless of whether you think it’s a good criticism of the Leaf or worthwhile to criticize shorter range BEVs at all.

2. The Prius ad starts with a good premise, but the execution after the joke about the old technology on the table never pans out. It’s rather an abrupt transition to the criticism of the Prius.

For the second commercial, they could have left it at “If you don’t like 15 year old technology, step into the 2016 Volt. More fun to drive and better gas mileage in real world situations than that old stuff.” In fact, just showing the Prius but not naming it would be much better.

I can’t help but wonder what would be on the table if the 2nd car had been one of GM’s big sellers and not a Prius. I can only imagine

“and here we have a telephone, most amazing invention, you dial zero and tell the lady at the end of the line who’d like to talk to, we also have a grammerphone and a note pad”

I want the left one, because i want no gasoline in a BEV. After 20.000 miles i never run out of battery and i am happy not burning any gasoline. Next car will be 2016 Leaf, and than a 2017 Leaf / 2018 Leaf.

It’s funny (but not surprising) that most commenters here seem to be on board with bashing the Prius, but not the Leaf. Both are GM’s competition.

When GM releases the Bolt, do you expect them to avoid comparing it to the Leaf? If you are having a hard time with GM playing the Volt against the Leaf, you are going to have a REALLY hard time when GM brings out the long knives for Nissan (and Tesla!) after the Bolt comes out.

The auto industry (even the EV auto industry) is not a game of pattycakes. This should have been apparent when Elon Musk was bashing the Leaf and the Volt at every chance he could.