Here’s Why The Chevy Volt Is A Solid Tesla Alternative: Video

FEB 7 2019 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 68

A Volt instead of a Model S?

If you’re in the market for a Tesla Model S, consider buying a Chevrolet Volt instead.

Say what? That’s a super odd statement right there.

But it’s not without merit. The Chevy Volt is a mighty fine electric car and on the used market, it’s super cheap. Furthermore, it drives amazingly on electric and offers pretty solid range.

Now, we wouldn’t consider the Volt an alternative to a Model S or even a Tesla Model 3, but for those interested in dipping their feet in electric, you could do much worse than a Chevy Volt. Unfortunately, Chevy has decided to kill off the Volt, so it’s goodbye to one of the best plug-in hybrids ever made.

Video description:

If you’re one of the millennials who would love to have a Tesla Model S, there’s an alternative with many of the same virtues of the Tesla and brings with it many practical advantages.

It’s one you might not have considered before. It’s the humble, yet quirky, Chevrolet Volt.

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68 Comments on "Here’s Why The Chevy Volt Is A Solid Tesla Alternative: Video"

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Dang it! I have a 2014 BMW i3-REx, 72 mi EV, and no interest in anything else … unless I win the lottery.

I have a 2017 Volt and absolutely love it. Luckily the Colorado incentive really cut the cost of buying new. With my 45 mile RT commute, I rarely use gas. A Tesla is beautiful, for sure, but so is the extra $$ in the bank! I have never been able to get past the common sense gene in my head to blow tons of money on a ‘status symbol’.

A different point of view. True, some think of Tesla in the same category as Mercedes, Lexus or Jaguar…This must be a person whose mind is fixed on price and nothing else. I followed GM’s Volt from day 1. How ingenius and innovative it was and truly believed GM wanted to make amends for crushing all those compliance EV-1s. When GM top brass give the orders, they’ve shown that they have the best engineers in the business. Unfortunately, engineers don’t run car companies. OK, perhaps fortunately…But the decision makers at GM are just as clueless as to how to introduce EVs to customers without killing their profit engine as any other legacy gasoline car company. Just as clueless as they were when then GM VP Bob Lutz claimed the Voltec EREV would leapfrog Prius. Technologically, yes, but in sales and profits? – no. EREVs with good range and EVs are just not profit engines unless you build 100,000s of them. GM is unwilling to do this. I bought Tesla because their goal was to convert our transportation fleet to electric. I spent more than I wanted to, but got tbe best car, and best EV ever made. Made in USA… Read more »

Agree. I was tempted to get a Bolt on nice deal until I read your comment

I Still say, the Bolt Powertrain + Battery, would be great installed into their Mid Size Pickups, like the Colorado, along with a Mod of the Volt Drive Train, about an 8-10 Gallon Tank for Gas, and either all 60 kWh or at least 40 kWh of the Bolt Battery, to make a 100 EV Mile Plus EREV, AWD Pickup, than could also go about 300 Miles extra on Gas!

The Same Technology could go into a Silverado, but might need Bigger Motors on Both Drivetrains!

Yes, and this could have been done 5 years ago… same goes with small SUV. It’s 2019 and still we have nothing. Sad, they would have sold hundreds of thousands of these.

Five years ago not enough people would have bought them to justify the developments costs. Market analysts are already getting concerned that the larger automakers are over committing $billions to EVs before the general public is ready to accept them. China is already seeing that their 20% NEV goal for 2025 may not be reached. It would just drive automakers into huge losses if they build something that they cannot sell in sufficient quantities.

EV enthusiasts keep blaming the automakers for not building more EVs. But they can only build and sell what the public is willing to buy. Instead of beating up the automakers, beat up on the general public. They are the ones controlling their checkbooks.

“But they can only build and sell what the public is willing to buy.”

It’s a two-way street. The public can only buy what is offered on the market for sale. Until Tesla showed it was possible, auto makers pretty universally said it wasn’t possible to make a stylish or desirable plug-in EV. GM showed what it thought of EVs with the EV1… a niche market car if there ever was one!

Selling anything takes both a seller and a buyer… not just one or the other.

@Donn . You couldn’t be more wrong in your thinking. Car companies assert “nobody wants EVs”. Lets add a more truthful statement: Consumers don’t want compact or subcompact cars that have less utility and performance than ICE counterparts at twice the price. Compliance to government mandates breeds boring “appliances” invented from the start NOT TO COMPETE WITH THEIR GAS MODELS. Many ask: “why doesn’t (insert gas car company name here) make an EV Equinox, Highlander, Rav4,Camry, F-150, Slverado….or….?” The reason is that prices of EV equivelants are far too high without economies of scale. This means, make a whole lot of something to drive down the purchase price. Saying nobody wants an Equinox or F-150 that is faster, far cheaper to maintain, requires 80% less replacement parts and service, healthier for our families to live around, provides far cleaner air in the proximities where we live, handle better due to weight distribution, creates a safer worldwide geo-political environment away from politically dangerous hotspots….and on and on….is sheer insanity. OF COURSE WE WANT AND NEED EVs! Saying we don’t want them is ludicrous. Flip phone makers said we didn’t want smarthphones in 2008. They said they were too expensive. But that… Read more »

As, they say a “green” sucker is born every minute

Those are called tree frogs sir.

*Correction: should say: ….. ” GM spent more money just last year on TV ads selling gas trucks and SUVs….” ( not EVs ). Sorry, didn’t catch that…

Waiting for a REx from GM that’s is comparable to I3 range but not looks or reliability

I have a 2017 Volt, and love it. No range anxiety! I have a 280 mile weekend RT, get over 90MPG with full charge each way. Burn no gas on local trips. What’s not to like? Sorry GM wimped out on it.

They are not wimping out. They are replacing the Volt. Sedans just are not selling as well as SUVs and Crossovers. Folks will remember the Volt as a stepping stone. No different than Tesla predicting the Model Y will double sales of the Model 3.

They should have replaced the Volt before they killed it. Right now they are indeed wimping out with just one plugin on the market, they’ve prematurely killed every other one they’ve made.

Except that Tesla will still sell the Model 3 and they aren’t discontinuing it several years before the Model Y. So yes, GM is approaching things differently.
Also the Model 3 has sold more copies in the last 6-8 months than the Volt sold over 8 years.

They are replacing the Volt.”

If that’s the plan, then they should have kept the Volt in production until they were ready to start selling the replacement.

To be fair, you’re getting more than status with the Model S. You’re getting greater efficiency, reduced emissions, cheaper running costs, autonomous features, free software updates, faster charging, more space, and a lot more acceleration. Whether these things are worth the price premium is up to the individual.

WAS a solid Tesla alternative.

Correct.

Total face-plant for GM!!!

On the Other hand, the Malibu Hybrid uses about 60%-80% of the Voltec Drivetrain/Battery, so maybe a EREV Malibu, with about a 20-24 kWh Battery, could be in the future Offerings? Would that be a better Replacement?

And – the Sonic, could go EREV, with the Bolt Drivetrain, and some Flat Battery Tech, from the Bolt EV, too!

as a Volt driver, I don’t think a larger battery is needed. 18KWh (14 usable) gets you 50+ miles and is really plenty, any more added battery (and the corresponding cost) reduces gas use so little it just isn’t worth it. Keeping the cost low means more copies will sell which reduces overall gas usage more.

According to stats reported at voltstats.net, Volts on average get about 66% of their miles from electricity. It would be nice if GM offered an option for a larger capacity battery pack which would up that to somewhere around 75-85%.

Yeah… not really. I guess both have 4 wheels and are electric (sort of). Other than that it’s like saying “Here’s why a used Honda Civic is a good BMW alternative”. Yes, both are cars, and both the Volt and the Civic are perfectly good cars. But let’s not pretend they’re somehow reasonable alternatives, it’s totally different vehicle classes.

I own neither, but please. The only reason these are being compared is that they are both EVs.

Click-bate.
No sane person would say it’s a Tesla alternative.
It’s a plugin-hybrid alternative, one of the best, if not the best.

But, it’s not Tesla, not by a long shot.
-Suspension
-Interior and materials.
Boy, I hope we go back to the old days at GM where the CEO’s drove the cars.

Yes, for Millennials with no money, dreaming of a Tesla, it’s a Great first step.
Except that you take a lot of risk on with GM’s battery and complex hybrid system.
If it had a 10 or 15 year warranty that would be different.

All Senior Automotive Executives, should be required to Drive Each of their Company cars, and at least one Competitors Cars, in Each Segment they currently – or are planning to – do business in, for a Week each Month, to understand – Other Products versus their own, and what drivers go through, in all cases!

They should talk with their own employees, and with Customers at Their Own, and other Brands Dealerships, in the Sales and in the Service Departments! Part of the ‘Know thy Enemy’ Approach to Winning.

“If it had a 10 or 15 year warranty that would be different.”

It does have 10 year powertrain and battery warranty.

*sigh*. Why does people who have no idea or ownership experience insist on commenting without the key information?

I bought a used 2012 Volt Premium 2 weeks ago for $9,400. I can’t believe how cheap they are and the car has been absolutely fantastic.

I own both vehicles. Hands down there is no real comparison. The Tesla model S is a superior car in every way to the Volt. The only way a Volt makes sense is if you drive less tha 45 miles a day or are able to recharge your Volt for at least 4 hours between drives. The comfort level in a Tesla is superior to the Volt. I think the Volt is a great car for a college/high school student who for the most part will need to drive short distances. The price of a pre owned Volt is a great reason to purchase one. However, the Tesla Model S and Chevy Volt are very different driving experiences.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

They made the 2019 more of an EREV with 7.2kW charger and ERDTT down to -13F, … just before they canceled it.

That’s definitely going to be the one to get.

The Model S is superior in most ways, but the Volt is easier to park due to its smaller size, no? It’s also quicker to take on long trips.

I love my 2014 Volt and drive EV most of the time, I’ve had some 500 mile trips for work, but the 55 cents per mile payback is great for those trips when I use gas, I usually get about 320 miles range before I fill up 8 gallons. I’ve also driven a Tesla S which is an incredible vehicle with awesome performance and excellent ride. My volt has a comparable ride, but not the same performance, but the Volt has plenty of acceleration to keep up with most cars.

Volt Is A Solid Tesla Alternative in the same way my inland home was a solid alternative for the beach front mansion i was actually dreaming of.

Yeah, Baby! Oh, Behave!
🙂

I love my 2012 Ampera. It has done almost 100.000 miles so far and I’m not selling her.

The Gen 1 Volts are superior to the old model “s”s. The navigation worked good, the Bose sound system was great, and in electric mode it used less electricity than the Tesla since its charger was more efficient and there was essentially no Vampire Drain. No real issue with the charging cord if the owner had a decent receptacle on the wall (WHICH was required by the owner’s manual), something that could not be said about the “S” – where 3 things were FINALLY done by Tesla to correct the issue. Before the correction, a flawlessly installed receptacle would overheat. It also had individual pressures on all 4 wheels – not available on the early “S”, and its regeneration never failed in the cold which still happens to my knowledge in the “S”. The Door handles never needed to be replaced, and the wiper gearbox was far more substantial than the ‘s’. And the drive trains never needed to be replaced due to substandard murmuring. The 12 volt battery would last for years and years, whereas friends who own the ‘s’ in cold weather tell me the battery has to be changed out as much as 3 times a year,… Read more »

Hahaha. I almost thought you were serious, Bill, till I came to your final sentence. Perhaps you should put /s after your comments. 😁

Philip, there were absolutely no traffic fatalities in the Volt for the first 3 or 4 years of Volt production. I think in 2014 or 2015 some poor family in Rockville MD got T-boned by a young man in a BMW driving around 70 mph and two of the family died and one young lady survived. Other than that, I don’t think there have been many, if any, fatalities.
The Volt is one of the safest cars built in the world. The battery pack acts like a final layer of defense protecting the people in the cabin.

… except the Volt battery sits between the passengers.

No, he is dead serious, and he has good points. I even added a 1,500W power inverter from https://www.evextend.com in the Volt as the 12V DC-DC was so solid. Would never dare to put that in my Model S. The Volt had many features that Tesla lacks to this day, such as automated seat heaters, turn signal reminder if you leave it on for too long, speed volume control on the audio system, a freaking hard drive to pause live radio while out of the car for a bit or taking a phone call. Loved the opposing wiper arms that actually cleaned most of the windshield and could be pulled out of it when it sleets.

I miss my Volt.

I’d take a used Tesla with free SC any day over a new Volt. It has much better resale value and no real comparison.
Now a used Volt as a starter EV is a great idea.
I like them totaled so I can make lightweight EVs from them and repower older lead battery EVs, conversions like a 53 Chevy pickup I’m shipping a custom pack out today. ;^)

Curious – EV Conversion Shop… What Name or Domain URL … or, at least – what State/Province?

http://www.myelectricfly.com – mine – could use some Floor Pan Replacement, but a new EV Drivetrain – would be interesting in it, if the $ was right!

Volt as like the “half electric/half ICE” car. Not like other plugin hybrids that are more like “80% ICE/20% electric”.
In my opinion such car was very interesting allowing any distance trips without less convenience. But I guess it wasn’t as loved as some could expect.

Well said. There are only two true switch-hitter PHEVs on the market: The Chevy Volt and the Honda Clarity PHEV. The rest, as you say, are a lot more gasmobiles than they are EVs.

…er, make that one on the market, since GM is cancelling production of the Volt. 🙁

loved?
Do you really think this is about love and not price or size?

I have owned both of these cars and despite uninformed comments to the contrary they are very comparable.

Both cars allow owners to drive electric every day, and also take cross-country trips effortlessly. The Model S is much nicer to drive, but the Volt is still nicer to drive than other ICE, HEV, or PHEV cars.

The Volt also has more flexibility on long trips, with fast refueling available everywhere. I do prefer the Model S, even for long trips. Tesla’s autopilot is hard to live without. But, the Volt is a lot less money, and it is closer to a Tesla experience than any other car.

The Volt,like mine,was doomed to failure because of the misinformed public opinion of how it operates.The questions that very intelligent but otherwise misinformed people have asked me about it are quite surprising.For instance..
1-You mean it only goes 35 miles on battery?What good is that,A Tesla goes 200 miles.
2- Do you have to get out and start the gas motor?
3-How much does a new battery cost?
4-How long does the battery last? What happens if it goes bad on the road?
5-Won’t you get electrocuted in the car wash? How about in a crash?
6-Isn’t your electric bill going to skyrocket?
7-My friend works at the tech center and says blah,blah,no good because blah blah
8-The Chevrolet dealer doesn’t know how to work on it
9-The cradle to grave cost to the environment is higher than ICE
10- I heard the gas motor goes bad because it never starts
11- Does it have a heater?
Obviously GM has done a poor job of advertising the merits of their radically different and superior vehicle as witnessed first hand by myself.It’s almost as though they deliberately doomed the Voltech concept to failure in the public eye.

“2- Do you have to get out and start the gas motor?”
Why, yes. There is a hand crank that can be used to start the engine from the front end of the car. It has a transmitter just like a key fob so other Volt owners can’t use their hand cranks to start your Volt. Unfortunately, the batteries in it aren’t user replaceable, but GM will happily sell you an updated hand crank with user replaceable batteries.

Volt is nice but no power seats and missing tech and options one could fairly expect in $40k car. GM does seem to limit its EV and PHEV’s (Bolt has no power seats, no dynamic cruise), See Hyundai’s Ioniq PHEV for what Volt should be like. Ioniq with 30 mile EV range is a better and cheaper car. It’s MPG in hybrid mode is 52 vs. Volt’s 42.

There was an article posted here that suggested new Ioniq PHEV would have greater range.

except it’s a $30k car

The 2019 Volt Premier does have a power driver’s seat with two-way adjustable lumbar.

“for those interested in dipping their feet in electric”

This is actually underselling it dramatically. I drive over 90% on electric with my 2014 Volt. That’s a lot more than “dipping their feet”. “Immersing yourself” is a better analogy.

So how much is the last 10% worth for you? At the time when I bought my Volt, it was about $50k+ more for the cheapest Model S. Would I prefer a Tesla? Hell yeah! Was it worth three times as much to me to make an additional marginal gain in electric miles? Absolutely not.

I’m a Tesla fan, and I’m looking forward to buying a used Model 3 in a few years. But the article is correct, if your goal is to drive electric, then a Volt is a great affordable alternative to a Tesla.

If you live in cold weather areas, you WANT and NEED a VOLT if you insist upon owning an EV.

You want an ENGINE that uses gas when it gets below 20F. You want a HEAT generator, not a watt sucker.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/06/aaa-confirms-what-tesla-bmw-nissan-ev-owners-suspected-of-cold-weather.html

BEVs are not usable in colder climates? I’m sure that will come as a great surprise to all those in Norway and Canada who have bought Tesla cars. 🙄

P.S. — CNBC is notorious for all the anti-Tesla bashing they do, and sometimes outright FÜD.

My 2016 Volt heater sucks in electric mode, and isn’t all that good on gas…

No thanks, sounds like a massive downgrade from my S 100D.

No thanks, sounds like a massive downgrade from my Renault Fluence ZE (new LG bat).

Of course it is. It’s $70k cheaper. In many parts of the country, that could buy a house. And even then, “massive” is debatable.

The Honda Clarity which has 48 mile EV range and all the amenities is a much better car. Honda understands that EV’ers want all the tech and options.

My wife and I own a 2014 Model S85 purchased used recently and a 2018 Volt purchased new. We used to own a Leaf but replaced it with the Model S. The Volt is a great car. It drives all over town in electric mode with a legit 53 mile range unlike the Leaf which always seemed to overestimate range. It works well for the long trips. The hatchback is very versatile. Ours has a heated steering wheel (which was not available on the 2014 S). It has great Android Auto integration and has been extremely reliable.
The S has more room and the low entry to the hatch is very nice. It has great range and the Supercharger network makes longer range driving viable (unlike the Leaf). It has a lot of nice tech features and the autopilot can be nice on the freeway. Personally I think they are both great cars.

Well… until next month when it goes pop.

Well, my Volt is currently the alternative to the $35K Tesla Model 3 that doesn’t exist yet.

And when the 35k will show up….what will your Volt be alternative for?

For someone’s dream ride on the used market.

A little easier to afford? More like a lot easier to afford! Used Volts with under 50,000 miles can be had for around $11,000. One equally positive and negative thing about the Model S is its extremely high resale value.

If a Model S is your fantasy, then a Volt might be your best reality.