Chevrolet Volt Sales Find A Level In 2016, Will Pass 100K Total Sold For US In July

Chevrolet Volt

JUL 8 2016 BY MARK KANE 60

Chevrolet Volt sales in U.S. - June 2016

Chevrolet Volt sales in U.S. – June 2016

2017 volt red family

Chevrolet Volt

Given the recent “dead even” sales level that GM has found recently with the Chevrolet Volt, sometime in around the 3rd week of July, Chevrolet will achieve a milestone of 100,000 Volts sold in the U.S.

Less than 1,500 was needed heading to reach the 6 figure result heading into this month, with 98,558 sold all-time through June 30th.

No other manufacturer has hit such a mark for plug-in car sales in the US, so we expect a big celebration announcement from GM once the number is passed.  Second place is currently occupied by Nissan with the LEAF at 95,384.

The new found level of sales at around 1,900-2,000 a month is still a bit of a mixed bag, as most industry watchers and EV enthusiasts had expected that the introduction of the all-new, 2nd generation Volt in late 2015 with more range (53 miles AER) would have seen new highs set, but so far that has yet to be realized.

Still, for the first half of the year, the Volt finds itself at nearly 10,000 sales (9,808), which is still one of the better years in recent memory for the extended range car (only 2013 that logges 9,855 after six months was better).

Whether there is chance to climb higher in 2016 than the model’s previous best yearly results set in 2012 (23,461 deliveries total), or set a new monthly record (which stands at 3,351 – set in August of 2014) is still very much up for grabs, and a second half surge could still be in the cards.

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60 Comments on "Chevrolet Volt Sales Find A Level In 2016, Will Pass 100K Total Sold For US In July"

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There’s definitely a business case for a Malibu plug in hybrid bringing additional sales to GM, or Chevy could have made the new Volt bigger by stretching the platform 3 inches or so. The volt 2.0 is a nice car, but it’s small and has a small trunk. GM used to always upsize their cars to be bigger than the competition, but they’ve given that up lately.
Until such time tho, I think Chevy has a sub-2000 car on its hands. I know we won’t be getting a 2nd gen because of the size.

Totally agree Ozz,

Both 1st and 2nd generation are FANTASTIC sub-compacts with very little back seat room and trunk space.

GM clearly is too afraid/timid to move this technology into bigger vehicles because it will erode their ICE profits.

Both the Volt and Bolt are merely a hedge by GM in case electrification will eventually be mandated by the Govt.

It is certainly better then nothing or what FCA is doing but it is still very weak and shows the built in conflict of interest that the legacy ICE OEMs have regarding electrification.

+1

Kinda dumb to say GM is afraid to put Voltec in larger vehicles. While it’s not in the Escalade or Tahoe, Voltec is in the CT6, which is the largest Cadillac sedan.

In realty all the established manufacturers — Nissan, GM, BMW, Hyundai — started with small vehicles. That’s likely because the engineers were charged with getting an efficient vehicle.

I realize this doesn’t fit your pre-conceived narrative but it’s more likely accurate.

Well Don, GM is putting Voltec on the Chinese manufactured CT-6 for primarily the chinese market and then importing some to the USA which could very well flop just like the ELR did as Cadillac is basically a dying brand.

What is beyond intelligent thinking is why GM would put a HEV version only into their newly designed Malibu when all they had to do was go the final step and add the batteries and a plug.

GM could own the market and destroy their rival’s Energi models if they would just put full Voltec into midsize segment like the Malibu and especially into CUVs/SUVs.

Obviosly they are unwilling or unable to seize that future and I’m pretty sure it is because they are protecting their ICE profits.

The only “fear” GM may have would only be for their bean counters who wouldn’t want a PHEV Truck/SUV which would get a range below 50 miles and therefore less than two ZEV credits…Beancounters would prefer everyone buys the ZEV credit producing Bolt…

Very few SUV lovers would being willing to pay the premium price, the performance penalty and want to deal with PHEV stigma with owning a PHEV SUV…

Of course. That is why many spend $150-160K for an “X”.

As far as the “X” goes you either love it or hate it – or say you like it but you are surprised how small it is.

Which said smallness is not the first thing coming to mind when considering a Cadillac Escalade ESV or Lincoln Navigator.

The low cost 60 kwh battery packs available today can give these vehicles 100 miles all electric range, so that should give the automakers some credits, since most BEV’s can’t do that.

As far as the added weight of the battery, this is partially compensated by the lighter 4 cylinder engine as opposed to the big V8, since good acceleration can be accomplished by the big battery and 2 electric motors. And I don’t hear many complaining about the over 3 tons of the ‘X’.

Only thing is Tesla made its EV sexy and a desirable status symbol…Great line to pick up chicks as a wingman:

“My friend over there is looking for a new car and he said he’s going to pull the trigger on the Chevy Volt tomorrow…Can you believe that? Please please please talk some sense into him”

Teslas are sexier than Volts, but no other plug in is sexier than a Volt in many people’s opinions… Ok, except the ELR 😛

Agreed.

What I’d most like to see is a dedicated Volt platform with a flat battery pack and hatchback or CUV configuration. I suspect the rear seat in the current Volt is a dealbreaker for many.

GM should use “Volt” not as the name for one particular model, but instead use it across the entire lineup to designate that a particular model is a PHEV using the Voltec powertrain. Customer would have a choice of powertrain, i.e.: Malibu (ICE), Malibu Hybrid (HEV), or Malibu Volt (PHEV); Escalade (ICE), Escalade Hybrid (HEV), or Escalade Volt (PHEV); etc.

When Toyota introduced the Prius Prime (PHEV), it occurred to me Toyota might use “Prime” as branding to designate a PHEV across its entire lineup of vehicles, i.e.: Camry (ICE), Camry Hybrid, and Camry Prime (PHEV); RAV4 (ICE), RAV4 Hybrid (HEV), RAV4 Prime (PHEV); etc.

I’ve lobbied from that from day one…With the Spark, you have the Spark and the Spark EV…They try to make the Volt as different as possible to the Cruze and it ends up costing them more…Just make a Cruze Voltec, share as many parts as possible…

I agree man. Tears in my eyes because I cannot buy a Volt.
Son, is 6′ and cannot fit in the back.
Would love a Volt, wagon version, stretched to fit 4 adults.

If you look at the EV-Plugin segment, it’s sorely missing a real 4 adult passenger car.

Toyota Prius Prime will only offer 1 additional inch of headroom, or that’s what the early specs look like.

Ford: the only thing the CMAX Energi has got going for it is rear seat room. No Radar Collision Prevention, no Automatic Cruise control, the worst battery on the market, with only 20 miles of range, winter range 12 miles(?). It’s the joke in the field.

The BMW i3 ( 2017 ) Looks good, but it’s a bit pricy.

That’s why the Model 3 has 400,000 reservations.

The upcoming Bolt should fit four adults quite comfortably, possibly five.

Hi, CC, I responded to an old article so I’m repeating it here in case you didn’t see it…

“…CC, is this to be a $2500 NYS CRedit?

If so when is the implementation date and if it is to be retroactive, to what date is that?

Also…..does the 30% residential charging infrastructure fed benefit still exist?…”

Thanks

Hi Bill, sorry I missed your comment elsewhere.

My understanding from NYSERDA is that nothing is set in stone yet, however they are thinking implementation will be in September, and it will not be retroactive. Seems silly… “Hey, let’s pass rebate legislation to encourage Plug in adoption, then delay implementation, thereby discouraging adoption in the short term” sheesh. Of course, this is all “off the record” as they cannot give any official info yet since they haven’t finalized everything.

I believe the amount will be up to $2000 based on battery size. As an aside, I almost pulled the trigger on a 2016 Volt this week, with the 20% off MSRP. With trade, discounts, etc. I got down to $16,500 on a $41,000 fully loaded Volt. In the end though, I couldn’t justify the cost, even with the $7500 tax credit. It’s an amazing car but my 2013 Volt works just fine and I’m still very happy with it.

I do think the federal credit for chargers exists still, but now I’m having trouble finding information on it. Some here, but not straight from the Feds: https://www.clippercreek.com/30-federal-tax-credit-for-purchase-installation-of-clippercreek-evse/

THanks again..

Speaking of which, are you still using your 2012 round 15 amp Voltec? Or have you bought another in addition to it since your gf now has a volt also?

No problem Bill.

Yes, short story is my wife and I are still using the Voltec.

Longer story is I have a ChargePoint EVSE as well. I did a review on it for Charged magazine and they ended up letting me keep it. It has some very nice features, but lacks the LED light at the tip. For most of the year though, one EVSE is enough for our driving, and the Voltec takes care of that for us both.

Also just realized I misspoke on my 2016 Volt haggling. I got down to $15000 including all fees except tax, after trade etc. that was $16848 with tax (Yes, that’s more than 8%… NY taxes a manufacturer rebate). I wanted them to go to $16,500 with tax but they didn’t want to come down the other $348.

After tax credit that would’ve been $9000 out of pocket. The good news is I am $9000 richer than if we had struck the deal. 🙂

Haven’t gotten to winter on it yet, but that 20 miles is a big underestimate of the C-Max’s AER. There’s great deals on used ones and they really are nice cars. I couldn’t fit my daughter’s car seat in the 2017 Volt and my wife couldn’t see out the back. So far we’re at 95% EV with the C-Max.

Let’s see what happens if and when the Fusion Energi exceeds the Volt in monthly sales…Probably won’t for July since GM was offering 20% off on the MY16 Volt Premier but stands a good chance to in August…

I’m sure Volt proponents will continue to blindly support the Volt until the end but it just proves it got the formula wrong…A mid size Ford sedan (which many claim is falling out of favor) would be beating the “red hot” hatchback segment…

Volt is still has a “geek” stigma attached to it, GM should own that, put in the effort to get the ICE up to 50MPG…If they can offer 20% off from the factory, 0% financing on top of a $1K private offer, they can afford it…

If you crunch the numbers, getting Volt engine to 50 mpg would not save very much gas at all over the current concept.

Hell, if the engine got 20mpg, with a 53 mile electric range available every single day of driving before the gas engine kicks in, it still handily beats the Ford Fusion and many others in gas consumption and operating costs.

The problem is, apparently, that people don’t understand math.

It’s about marketing…GM rarely markets it and isn’t marketing as an alternative to ICE compacts…It markets it mainly against the Prius and it can’t even do that all that well “The new generation Volt has a more advanced battery than the previous generation Prius” (with no mentioning of how/why it’s better)…ICE owners don’t care about battery tech, engineering or efficiency…Most care about MPGs and/or 0-60…Just getting to 50MPG is a powerful for marketing…

I’d much rather they spend money on marketing and proper education ithan squeezing more MPG out of an engine that will have no meaningful effect on fuel savings. But I agree the mass market doesn’t understand it unless the engine’s MPG is high.

I’m disappointed in the Gen2 Volt sales so far; it looks like making a good, high-quality product only gets one so far.

At this point, my hopes are leaning on the cheap Gen1 Volts that are coming off of lease and being re-sold. I do think that this was part of the larger plan for the Volt: lease them cheaply and re-sell them when they come back (i.e. let the car sell itself on price and build an ownership base on quality). There is significant short-term loss involved, but the improvement in brand perception should be worth it.

VOLT: One of the least understood or least appreaciated vehicles, by the ininformed! Chevy just needs to offer a special deal on 7 Day rentals, walk them through charging at home and in public (much of which could be done by YouTube Videos), and hold one of their vehicles in trade, for just one week!

Tell them they can’t take anyone but family in the car for the first 3 days, and see how many break that rule, taking friends for rides, before 3 days are up, etc.

Reserving a 7 day rental, or promoting that idea, could have lineups for the VOLT! 3 day rentals are great, but if uou have a car for 7 days, it really starts to feel like it is yours!

BAd marketing on purpose. Of course they could sell a lot! But they don’t WANT to. Protecting the archaic and dirty ICE business for them and their ecologically criminal Oil friends is what all established ICE car makers do.

Looking at Ford and Chrysler, it does look like there’s a corporate, pollution industry, funded conspiracy going on.

It seems to be a tough concept: I was explaining how my on-order Volt works to couple of acquaintances today and I could almost see their eyes glaze over.

What would happen if GM announced a new 7.2 kW on board Charger for the Volt? They can’t be using that 3.6 kW charger on the Bolt EV, so they could put a higher powered charging experience into the Volt, even if only as an option!

Yeah Robert; decades ago in a typical GM product you had about 5 engine choices, 3 or 4 transmission choices, differential choices including varying ratios, radiator, battery, alternator choices, trim choices (the only thing really remaining at GM), and plenty of radio/entertainment choices. Even VW with the EGOLF brought out a ‘cost reduced’ model later on with incandescent headlights, and 3.3 kw charger in the hopes of increasing sales. Since I usually buy a car with zero options, if they lowered the price a few thousand, I’d be one of the ones to buy a BOLT with the lower cost incandescents, and a 3.3 kw charger, and no CCS option. So agreed – I believe GM said back in 2010 that the existing battery could be reliably charged at 12 kw or thereabouts (it can take 60 kw for 10 seconds also), but they were leaving it to ‘aftermarket tuners’ for that product. Unfortunately, I’ve heard of no aftermarket people offering an alternative product. But yeah, I don’t see any real issue in offering either 3.3, 3.6, or 7.2 kw for the VOLT, or BOLT for that matter. Its a rather said fact of life that there are seriously few… Read more »

The 2nd Gen Volt could easily achieve twice those sales figures if GM and all of its dealers cared about selling the car.

Brand image is the problem. Rebadge the car with the Prius name and you will sell a million cars a year. GM is not a charity organisation. They sell cars for profit, big cars preferably, for bigger profit. Those who expect GM to dive into electrification are living in an alternate reality. It wont happen unless they have no choice but to go with the flow. In the mean time, The Volt, and Bolt will be test benches, nothing more.

The Volt is a test bench? It is the best selling plug in of all time in the USA, and was the first to market by big auto. Followed closely by the Leaf, and then, a big gap, for a long time. So the rest of the offerings are what then?

Sometimes the lengths people go to in order to fit data to their preconceived notions is more than laughable… It’s mind boggling.

I don’t think I have seen even one commercial for the Gen II Volt. Maybe there was one or two(but I don’t recall any). In any event, again, GM is NOT pushing this car.

They seem to emphasize online marketing with the Volt over TV ads. Part of me is frustrated by that, but then again, I don’t have cable, and neither do many of my friends. The demographic they are targeting is less and less tied to traditional 30 second ad spots. I think their approach is right, if it were 5 years from now. Today, I think they still need a mix of traditional TV spots.

The other problem is how they are leased in Non Carb state. I was looking to trade my fusion energi for a 2nd generation volt but the deals aren’t good in NC. Chevrolet is only factoring 4000 of the 7500 tax rebate in the lease as a cap cost redution. I was looking at over $500 dollars a month for a premier volt. Its a shame, as I really liked the volt and was even willing to put my family of 5 in it. I’ll have to wait to they change this policy or maybe for bolt or leaf 2.

This is just another case of a dealership not knowing what they are doing. GM Financial includes all $7500 for the CCR, they did with my 2015 last year.

Not quite. $6860 in CARB states, only 4610 in non-CARB states for ’17s.

$7470 for ’16s.

When I was investigating the possibility of a lease in my non-CARB state (VA) the reduction in capital was exactly $0.00.

A family of five? You’d outgrow it too soon. I like my Volt EV, but it helps that I almost never use the back seat.

from IRS web site:

The credit for Qualified Plug-in Electric Drive Motor Vehicles begins to phase out for a manufacturer’s vehicles when at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold for use in the United States.

Add Volt and Spark EV sales with Bolts coming in the fall and how soon will Chevy loose the rebate?

I have a Leaf lease expires in Dec 17 and want to buy a Volt or a Bolt. My concern is the credit may be all used up or will start phase-out period by then…

You don’t have to worry about. Assuming it was allowed to sunset on GM and Tesla first (which is a big, big assumption). We are looking at tipping the number around early Q2 2018, which then means there is a the 3-6 months window on the full incentive…taking the $7,500 eligibility to September 30th, 2018.

thanks…

C’mon GM . . . what do we have to do to get you to put the Voltec drivetrain in bigger vehicles?!?!?!

A hostile takeover 😉 Greater competition will get them going hopefully. So far everyone else is pretty much a no-show or a weak attempt at best for a mild PHEV.

The CT6 is larger than the Model S. How big a vehicle do you want?

That said it would be great to see it in the Buick Envision. SUVs are just a preferred body style.

Malibu would be nice. That’s where Voltec was trialed in the first place. How about a crossover or a truck?

The CT6 PHEV version is not even out yet.

It was released in California this week. None in NY State however.

The Malibu is already available with the Voltec drivetrain. Malibu Hybrid, 48 mpg, a solid large car that is all around better than the Prius as an all around car.

Several events happened in lockstep with the Gen 2 Volt launch.

1. California green carpool stickers ran out. Most Volts were/are sold in California and a sizable percentage of those customers used the carpool stickers as partial justification for their purchase.

2. Chevy Bolt EV price and range announced. Some fraction of Volt intenders likely morphed into Bolt EV intenders, particularly since the Bolt EV qualifies for white carpool stickers.

3. Tesla Model 3 revealed. Same as #2.

4. California CVRP exhausted. The whole “$1,500 lease drive-off reduced to zero by state rebate” has vanished, for now at least.

So the Gen 1 to Gen 2 Volt transition has not been an equal economic playing field with equal competitive options with an improved Volt to take home. The Volt improved, the competition improved, the HOV lane appeal diminished, and some of the financial perks diminished.

What we’re seeing right now is getting closer to what unincentivized demand for the Volt looks like in the marketplace, and it’s still exceeding Gen 1.

Nice analysis. I’d think #1 is likely the best reason. But GM is not killing itself trying to move more. In a sense that would be taking rebates from the Bolt EV, the sale of which results in more ZEV credits.

The soon to arrive will lower the sales totals for the Volt even lower…

The soon to arrive “BOLT” will lower the sales totals for the Volt even lower…

Need Edit button!

The Bolt could have the opposite effect. A customer wanders into a Chevy showroom and decides that they like the idea of driving electric but a BEV won’t work for them for whatever reason (or they’re scared of range anxiety).

Instead of moving from Volt -> Cruze, the salesperson could move them from Bolt EV -> Volt as they already have the customer interested in electrification.

“Hey, for $2,500 less than the Bolt you can get this one over here and still use electric 95% of the time!”

GM might actually inadvertently market the Volt with the launch of the Bolt EV. Fingers crossed.

I’ve wondered the same thing. If they have people coming into to check out the Bolt (if it turns out to be popular) then they will likely also check out the Volt.

GM’s 20% off leftover 2016 Volts certainly had Volts flying out of dealerships. July sales should definitely eclipse 2k….could even make a run at 3k if the ’17s sell well enough.

The Volt is too small and too expensive. Plus gasoline isn’t that expensive right now. GM can’t change the price of gas, so they need to build a bigger Volt or drop the price on the Volt they are selling now.
Or we can agree to watch Volt sales stagnate around 2000 a month. I think GM will choose to do nothing and watch the Volt wither away.
Love the car, hate GM.

Yup. They need competition.

If they could put a 30-35 mile range plug in SUV out there that can comfortably seat 5, and sell it for roughly what the Volt costs, or maybe $1-3k more, I’d bet it’d sell like crazy.

I think some other issues with the Volt is that it’s a compact. Some people, especially families, need seating for 5, which is hard to do in a smaller car.

Then there’s the price. Though the tax credit offsets it somewhat, not everyone will qualify for the full $7500. Leasing may help, but it’s still a hard pill for some to swallow.

And most probably aren’t even aware of the tax credit, so they assume “$35-40k car? Why don’t I just buy a loaded Cruze for $26k instead? The few thousand dollars I save will buy a lot of gas!”

Unfortunately some people refuse to look past the sticker price, even if the ownership costs will be lower overall in the long run.

Then there’s the issue of not everyone has a garage or access to charging stations. While on the Volt it’s not a huge deal breaker, many will lump it in with a Nissan Leaf anyway, especially since the two cars often get unfairly compared together.