• Aug 3rd 2010 at 9:06AM
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Following a bevy of recent announcements that have shed additional light on both the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, we thought it'd be an ideal time to return to the Google Trends graph to see which of these breakthrough vehicles is on its way to stardom on the Internet (as if they both aren't hits already). The last time we visited this topic, the Nissan Leaf was crushing the Volt in both search volume on Google and related news articles.

This time around, well, the story hasn't changed all that much. The latest Google Trends result shows that the Volt has managed to garner more attention from the press, as depicted by the news reference volume shown in the graph above and most likely due to the recent price announcement, but the additional coverage of the Volt has failed to boost its Internet popularity (based on search volume index) past that of the Nissan Leaf. As we've said before, there's no accurate way to translate Google Trends results into actual sales, but the graph provides a good indication of public interest in each vehicle and in that regard, the Leaf is still leading the way.

[Source: Google Trends]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Volt will win on mainstream press cover simply because:
      1. It's from an American company, and
      2. The U.S. government wants to show their bail-out of GM was successful.

      Case in point: Obama did a photo-op with the Volt. There's no way he'd do a photo-op for a Japanese company.
        • 5 Years Ago

        It's like North Korea talking up their new taepodong-2 missles and nuclear fusion

        Everyone else is laughing but as long as you're happy with yourself that's all that matters ;)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Eric, our mutual friend, Lyle Dennis, has run a similar article on gm-volt.com, which drew the opposite conclusion, citing the additional 25,000 of sign-ups on chevyvoltage.com. Who's data is correct?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Actually, as analyzed those trends do not nec. reflect stardom, do not nec. reflect interest, and, as admitted, do not reflect sales. There are many reasons, one of which posters have already cited (Chevy v. ...), I will add one hint:

      think: integration (not differential)

      ... and leave it as an exercise for the reader to complete the study of why this is a pointless blog.

      Google trends are, in fact, just that: trends (nothing more, without all independent variables removed)
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM may be in a position where they can't win on this issue. Nissan doesn't have 3 different search names: GM, Chevrolet & Chevy all get a portion of the searches on Google when you are looking for the Volt. It looks like the Leaf was beating all 3 until GM announced the price, then it gets a bit murkier. If GM comes out with an announcement on the charge sustaining mileage that is close to 50 mpg, GM may pull out in front. Otherwise...

      • 5 Years Ago
      Volt sucks! Leaf rules!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Let's look at the Volt price a little closer

      Compare to Prius II

      Volt $32,500 after rebate
      Prius $22,00
      DIff- $11,500

      Annual fuel cost at 15,000 mile per year and $3.00/gal gas
      Prius (50MPG) $900
      Volt (100 MPG) $450 Generous MPG estimate
      Total Fuel savings $450/year
      $11,500 / 450 = 25.56 years for your fuel savings to make up for the price difference

      Volt = fizzle

        • 5 Years Ago
        You can run the same calculation of a Prius against a normal ICE vehicle and come up with a similar conclusion and yet the Prius sells well. Saving $500-600 a year in gasoline cost(rough estimate for a Prius over an ICE with an EPA 28-30mpg combined) will take a long time to make up when you can buy a comparable ICE for $5000-6000 less. Not 25yrs long, but 10yrs is still a very long payback and not worth it for most people if they did the math.

        I also don't feel that 100mpg is a generous estimate for the Volt. I think 100mpg is easily attainable and I can provide several scenarios in which that is true.

        For instance, I ran the figures for my personal usage just out of curiosity and came up with a monthly 165mpg based on my daily commute of about 20mi round trip and a once a month trip of about 200mi round trip, with a chance to recharge before heading home.

        That's even assuming an absurdly low 33mpg for the range extender, I personally think it will be closer to 40mpg once GM announces the official figures. If your daily commute is closer to 40mi than mine, your mileage will be even higher(even potentially well over the 230mpg that GM claimed a while back).

        Plus, if your interest is in actually using less gasoline and you don't mind paying more for that(as would be a primary driving force for buying a Prius and seems to be a primary concern for many on this site), then the cost difference is secondary to the fact that you can cut your gasoline usage easily in half with the Volt and that's compared to an already very efficient car like the Prius. Isn't weaning ourselves off foreign oil a paramount concern?
      • 5 Years Ago
      they are competing for who's the least inspiring and most overpriced. it's tough competition.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why do we continue to ignore the electric Focus in such stats?
        • 5 Years Ago
        IMO, the Ford Jokus is butt ugly. Ford is not building a EV, only the glider.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Capn, maybe because Ford isn't delivering the car in 2010 and they aren't marketing as much as GM's admittedly lame advertizing attempts. It doesn't help that they chose to put their EV in a car that doesn't have room enough for the battery pack, forcing them to fill most of the trunk with the pack.
        The Focus EV sounds like it will be pretty close to the Leaf in performance, the Leaf wins by a few miles on range and a few mph on top speed, and the Leaf wins big on interior space, but the Focus kicks the Leaf to the curb on appearance. Advantage Leaf, I think.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am trying/hoping to get both a Volt and a Leaf. In terms of "buying," the process so far for the Volt is so MUCH EASIER than what I am experiencing with attempts to confirm an order for the Volt. The Chevrolet dealers (5 or 6 at least) in my region are NOT following up on my contact efforts, NOT willing to actually accept my order at a confirmed price, simply NOT actually ready or willing to sell the Volt. I am getting mumbles of "we are waiting to set a market price," or "my sales manager expects to set a markup." I am not sure about other potential Volt buyers, but I am not willing AT ALL to pay any further $$$ above MSRP, which I already believe GM has inflated significantly vis-a-vis the Leaf. The Leaf has at least twice the battery storage and this is the most expensive element in the vehicle, so it would seem that with the reduced battery capacity of the Volt, this production "savings" would easily offset the extra cost of the gasoline engine system for onboard electric production? Further GM has seem fit to not qualify the Volt for the California state rebate ($5000 for the Leaf) which could have been as much as $3000 for the Volt battery system. Additionally GM/Chevrolet has not given any of us actual "hard data" on what kind of mileage the Volt will get when the battery pack depletes and the engine kicks in. Buyers of this type of technology, IMHO, are interested in "economy of operation" and GM is simply not giving us the data we need to "buy into" the Volt mystique. I am willing to be an "early adopter" of both cars, but if GM continues to actually obfuscate and their dealers to exploit the buying experience, then the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid will be hitting the market at the same time as the Volt.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My last post was not clear. I meant that those who want a Volt would be better off leasing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I absolutely agree with you that the price/lease equation on the Volt totally favors the "lease option." That is what I would do, but I cannot yet get any local dealer to take my order....since it seems that they "think" they can also markup the lease details as well. To be completely open, there is "one dealer" who is still looking into their Volt access (since this dealership just changed hands last week, the new management must re-open their relationship with GM/Chevrolet). According to this sales manager, their dealership meeting with Chevrolet takes place on 9 August and at that time they should (?) have their Volt allotment and sales decisions re-pricing finalized. Verbally THAT sales manager said "Volt at MSRP." But verbal statements/agreements EVEN witnessed are not legally binding, so....We will see. There are many reasons WHY I have not bought an American built car since 1969, and dealer sales practice is clearly high on that list (and I have generally bought a new car every 2-5 years since 1969 from Toyota, Honda, Acura, Mazda, Infiniti, Lexus, VW, Audi and BMW), so I have some experience in the buyer's market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Looking at the respective deals, I can't see the logic of buying the Volt.
        The lease cost is around half what would be expected from the buy price.
        The Sonata hybrid has an awesome battery, which should be good for 300k miles. I am not so sure about the car wrapped around it! :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think that it is sad that GM still cannot wrap their collective heads around he idea that a pure EV is an appealing product. A "range extended EV" is a plug-in hybrid by another name.
        • 5 Years Ago
        An appealing product to anyone who can afford a 3rd car sure. No one who actually wants to ditch their personal ICE car can buy a pure EV vehicle because it simply doesn't have the range for all driving scenarios. Hence the Volt with a range extending ICE
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you switch the search from chevrolet volt to chevy volt the two lines become MUCH closer. This is flawed data anyhow because as others said you can't search for chevrolet and chevy at the same time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did you guys check Chevy Volt, instead of Chevrolet Volt ? Yes, inspite of the dictat of GM's marketing geniuses, people still refer to Chevrolet as Chevy.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Good point. When you add the trend results for Chevy Volt and Chevrolet Volt together, it's nearly a dead heat with the Leaf.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Good point. They should update the article.
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