• Feb 5th 2011 at 6:21PM
  • 38
Chevy Volt Super Bowl Commercial – Click above to watch video after the jump

Mixed in with the full complement of Super Bowl commercials from General Motors is the latest promotional tool for the Chevy Volt. The gist of the ad is that innovation can come in a lot of places, from the end of a kite string (you're all familiar with Ben Franklin, no?) to the stage at Woodstock (here, the ad uses a really fake-feeling Jimi Hendrix shot) to, well, the end of an electric cord when it's plugged into a car.

You can see the ad for yourself after the jump, but one thing immedately jumps out: there is no "More Car Than Electric" tagline. This is emblematic of the way the new ad is quite different than the first Volt TV commercials, which tried (a little too hard) to attack other electric cars by promoting the extended range benefits of the Volt. Instead of that message, the new spot pushes the dramatic change that plugging in your car can bring to the world. This is a good message. In fact, it's just super.

[Source: Chevy]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      If you are trying to buy a Volt and the dealer is doing a markup, shop around. I have a Volt and I only paid MSRP after the first dealer (near me) wanted 10k over, I called around. My Volt is the first one sold by that dealer and my serial number is under 75 (I took delivery before Christmas).

      I found the Dublin and Fremont dealerships (same owner) were taking orders at MSRP and were pleasant to work with. I highly recommend them, I want to encourage dealers that are not gouging.

      I suspect if you look in the sticks around LA you will find dealers that are more willing to be reasonable about it. Or you could buy your Volt up here in the bay area and drive it down to LA! When you find a dealer that is selling at MSRP, spread the word, get them more business. When you find a dealer gouging, spread the word so they do not get business.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Still, over all both are positive.
      You free yourself from 1 fuel source, to a different extent.
      - Electricity can be produced from Coal to Natural Gas to Nuclear to Wind, to Home Solar Panels. Your utility, and you, decide. You will not be impacted by any OPEC, or Speculator fuel shortage or price spike.

      More transportation money Stays in America, fueling the Growth of the US Economy.
        • 8 Months Ago
        It doesn't matter the number of fuel sources it can run on. If it is not efficient, it is not green.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Efficiency is far far less important than whether the car runs clean, frees our economy from oil-caused economic crashes (1973, 1979, 2008), and de-funds terrorism.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If the range works for you a BEV is a simpler vehicle and cheaper to operate. If not you're stuck with a hybrid. Let's face it, people who buy a Volt really want a BEV, but just can't deal with the range limitations. As BEV range increases and charging stations continue to be installed more and more people will move to the BEV's they really wanted in the first place. The Volt is a place holder.
        • 8 Months Ago
        "I figure the EREV tech will be better than BEV's for up to 8 years."

        It depends on what you mean by "better". For unlimited range, yes PHEV's are better since they still have a gas powered ICE. It's not better tech really, it's relying on older tech. If you don't need the range, then EV's are better. Since PHEV's are more complex by definition I don't see them as having a price advantage compared to BEV's. PHEV prices are also tied to battery prices, and since they will likely use all of their smaller pack range most of the time they have to keep a larger part of the pack unused to avoid deep discharging on a regular basis, so on a per mile basis hybrid packs cost more than EV packs. Battery price reductions and improvements will have a greater impact on BEV's than PHEV's.
        • 8 Months Ago
        John, I think you nailed it by seeing the Volt as a placeholder. I figure the EREV tech will be better than BEV's for up to 8 years. By 2019 or 2020 BEV tech will allow for a cheap battery pack that will take you nearly 200 miles on the first charge of the day and you will be able to fast charge back up to around 180 miles in less than 20 minutes. But I think that GM and Hyundai will have EREV's out within 3 years that get nearly 40 miles AER and have a CS mileage in excess of 40 mpg and they will cost less than $30,000.
        Regardless of who builds them, (tho I hope the America car firms stay in the race), any car that is primarily fueled by domestic electricity instead of foreign oil is a great car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the kind of ad I expected them to launch with. Something that drives the curiosity of the general consumer and emphasizes (and even better would be to show the benefits of) the plug-in part, rather than trying to trash other plug-in competition. It reminds me a lot of the EVO phone ad (also focusing on innovation).

        • 4 Years Ago
        The dealers are independent businesses. They can ask what they want, you can walk away. If no one pays the markup they will drop the price, or sell no Volts.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree with Throwback. If you want to be the first in your town, expect to pay for the privilege. Why impose price controls on a scarce commodity?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Great GM Dealers Scam. Dealers in California are asking for 5-15k over! Sticker Price to purchase a Volt. Shame on GM for allowing this. Keyes Chevy in Van Nuys told me the $5k they wanted over MSRP was because of demand.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I love the Volt and I have hated GM's adds so far.....but...this is a good one for sure!!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      It was OK but Howdy Doody???
      That's kinda boomer-centric in an age where a lot of grown adults don't know who Howard Cosell is...
      You aiming this car at geezers, GM?
        • 8 Months Ago
        I was born in the 1980s and I know who Howdy Doody is...

        They're showing electrical innovations from generations going back 200 years. No one generation is the target. And, even if they were targeting the Boomers--they're the ones with all of the money. I'm not sure what your point is.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Well 300c,
        If you were born in the 80s, and you know who Howdy Doody is, then your an exception and not the rule: Most of your peers don't know who Howdy Doody is and Howard Cosell, too, for that matter. Commercials on TV are not made for people like you, who know a lot. They're made for e-ver-y-one... If you don't get the point, then I don't want to belabor it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder why they didn't use the scene of Nikola Tesla sitting on a chair under his high voltage discharges : )
        • 8 Months Ago
        precisely :)
        although if they embraced electric drive they might have the presence of mind to own the heritage and invoke Nikola Tesla as their own, maybe steal some thunder, so to speak.
        • 8 Months Ago
        That would have been "Too Shocking" to mention their competitors name.
      • 4 Years Ago
      George, I hear you, but for the near term I doubt the Prius is going to get any cheaper... EREV's can use 15 kWh at $400 per kWh, or $6,000 plus a $1500 ICE. A BEV needs 32 kWh to get a real world AER, or $12,800 vs. $7,500 for the EREV. Nissan can dump a few thousand Leafs into America, but it won't work long term. BEV's and EREV's aren't cheap, yet. But in the short term, EREV's will probably be slightly cheaper, and they will have a huge advantage on the days we need to drive more than 100 miles. But until GM improves their CS mileage to at least 45 mpg, they will get beaten like a rented mule on their shortcomings vs. a Prius.
      And I agree that the Prius and the Volt fit different demographics and I also hope they both sell well.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Ghosn is talking about building a lot of Leafs, but with a 24 kWh battery pack it looks hard for him to make them with a profit at $32.8k. If they increase the pack size to 32 kWh to get a bit better AER and eliminate some of the limited range irritation I just don't see how they can build them at a profit under $35k MSRP. I think part of the reason the production of the Leaf is so low right now is that they are trying to minimize the amount they are losing on each one they build.
        If Nissan is building 5,000 a month by 2013 with an MSRP of less than $33k I will admit that I was wrong, and I will be celebrating just how much less oil we will importing. It will be a drop in the bucket of our total imports, but it will be a move in the right direction.
        I think that in the short term, 2 to 8 years, the Gen II Volts will get a less expensive ICE Genset and their battery pack will shrink to 15 kWh with a larger useable portion (going from a useable 10.4 to 11.5 kWh approx.) which will help the Volt get its MSRP down very close to the MSRP of the Leaf and possibly below the MSRP of the Focus BEV. I think that after the early adopters have gotten theirs, many buyers will demand, and be willing to pay a premium for, a version of the BEV's that has an AER that demands at least 32 kWh battery packs and the Volt may actually be cheaper than these medium range BEV's with their 100 mile real world range. (Probably advertised as 125 mile range instead of the 100 they claim now)
        BEV's need enough batteries in excess of what EREV's need that I think that EREV's will be close to BEV's in pricing when the sales amounts start to get larger. It is one thing to take a loss on 1,000 BEV's a month, it is entirely different to take that hit 5,000 times a month. But it is possible that Nissan will actually make a profit at $32.8k. We will see, and any car that uses electricity as its primary fuel is a car that is good for America and the world.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I think you're underestimating the cost of the ICE components and overestimating the cost of the batteries. You can't put an entire ICE system, including exhaust, catalytic converter, etc,etc in a vehicle for $1,500. It is more in the range of $2,500-$3,000.
        Plus by 2013, with 5,000 vehicles a month, it could be more like $300/kWh for the batteries.

        With a battery pack costing around $7,000, you won't see a Leaf costing $15k anytime soon, but it won't have to be $33k either.

        You're also forgetting that we'll start to see different sized battery packs become an option. Tesla has already said they're doing that for the Model S, and I expect others to follow. I'd never need more than 30kWh so I sure as hell don't want to pay for it. Some people want 50kWh or even 70kWh....good for them, but I don't need to pay for it and haul the batteries around.

        I would rather rent a larger battery if I think I'm going to need to take a long trip and turn it in when I'm finished. But frankly, I'd rather fly or rent an old fashioned ICE car if I decided to go really long distances.
        • 8 Months Ago
        You do realize those are retail prices, not OEM prices right? OEM tends to be around half retail. Manufacturing costs, of course, tends to be a lot less than OEM prices.

        Get us OEM or manufacturing costs, then we can talk.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Hi Ziv,
        I really can't see how you reckon EREVs can be cheaper than BEVs.
        Allowing $1500 for the ICE simply doesn't take into account all the ancillaries that are needed, from the exhaust system to the hybridisation.
        It is also a pretty strange idea that Ghosn has suddenly lost his marbles and hasn't done any cost work on the Leaf - he didn't get where he is by 'turning out a few thousand cars at a loss'.
        • 8 Months Ago
        "BEV's need enough batteries in excess of what EREV's need that I think that EREV's will be close to BEV's in pricing when the sales amounts start to get larger."

        That might be true as long as battery costs remain flat instead of following their historical downward trend, even without economies of scale. There's no way ICE and support equipment can reduce their costs at the same rate, if at all.

        I'm also betting that after the first round of leases, when people realize the only thing they need to do to cycle the vehicle is vacuum it and push it back out the door, lease rates on BEVs will be very competitive compared to EREVs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well...it's a great visual history montage, but it sure doesn't say much about the car. It's more of an 'image' advert than anything useful (information wise) for potential buyers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As Chelsea Sexton stated, ICE are conventional ovens and EV's are microwaves. They have plenty of overlap, but are ultimately different and will be used in different ways. Lot's of people have microwaves and no ovens. Lot's of people have ovens and no microwaves. Lot's of people have both.

      The Volt has the features and benefits of both, and therefore has a higher price for it's greater utility. I see it as a big winner. The commercials should compare / contrast the Volt with a standard ICE vehicles, hybrids and BEV's, showing that it has NONE of their weaknesses.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Cost is a weakness.
        Maintenance is a weakness.
        4 seats instead of 5 is a weakness.
        Emissions, and smog testing is a weakness.
        • 8 Months Ago
        I disagree. There aren't lot's of people that have ovens and no microwaves.

        Maybe I will watch the Super Bowl. The Volt ad will be the best part.

        Who's playing??
      • 4 Years Ago
      Very Nice, Very Inspirational.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I must have missed the part where it mentions that this EREV can drive all day. As opposed to a Leaf that dies after 80 miles. Volt drives all day, Leaf pulls over after an hour on the interstate for a time to be determined later...
      For the next 7 or 8 years EREV's make BEV's look like a bad bargain, so why should Volt commercials not celebrate Leaf shortcomings?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Given both occupy the early adopter market right now and is supply constrained rather than demand constrained, I don't see how GM really benefits from trashing the Leaf right now. All that's going to do is add to the FUD and not going to help when they actually come around to selling an electric car. As a member of the plug-in community, trashing (esp. focusing on FUD like range anxiety) isn't going to help the cause (there's already plenty of journalists and other people who gladly trash BEVs). There's already enough work to convince people in the first place that plug-ins actually have benefits, we don't really need to add to the FUD.

        The only reason why I see GM might actually need to do so is because the Volt costs more than the Leaf, even though as a PHEV and with less batteries, theoretically it should be cheaper (which is why GM wants to cut $7.5k from it). But at this point the demand greatly outstrips supply, so the price really isn't a problem. I think right now, the car GM is really nervous about is the Prius PHV (very likely to undercut the Volt in price significantly), which is why they are so adamant about not letting people call the Volt a hybrid.
        • 8 Months Ago
        "GM is really nervous about is the Prius PHV (very likely to undercut the Volt in price significantly), which is why they are so adamant about not letting people call the Volt a hybrid."

        I completely agree, GM is screwed if the Prius PHV comes out with an EV range anywhere near the Volts.

        I'm sure the courts will have to decide the legal definition of an EV vs hybrid, because if GM can call the Volt electric, Toyota can and will call the Prius PHV an electric as well.
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Ziv You should think more and use GM's rhetoric less.

        60% of Americans have multiple cars. We just need one PHEV in the household for long drives. Rest of the vehicles can be BEV since they cover the commute distance.

        The big question is not PHEV vs BEV. It is Serial (mostly) PHEV like Volt vs PowerSplit arrangements like the Prius PHV and the upcoming Ford Energi. My guess is that powersplit arrangements will be cheaper and thus sell better than EREVs like Volt.

        • 4 Years Ago
        "For the next 7 or 8 years EREV's make BEV's look like a bad bargain"

        I'm open to any and all bets as to how much more a seven year old Leaf is worth compared to a seven year old Volt.

        And that's not even counting the TCO differential without any mechanical drivetrain maintenance to think about.

        As a 'big' driving day for me is 50 miles, my BEV will drive for more of my day than I need it too.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Ziv says: For the next 7 or 8 years EREV's make BEV's look like a bad bargain."

        Pricing has a lot to do w/it. Still too early to call the EREV costs more. They fit different demographics and one would hope they both sell well.
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