It's been a long, strange trip for the Chevy Volt from the time when the now-odd-looking concept version (above) was introduced at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show to today. And now, General Motors announced that the second-generation Chevy Volt will make an appearance at the 2015 Detroit show in January. This debut represents a victory for GM with what has easily become the most politicized car of the 21st Century.

There are plenty of reasons for someone to criticize the Volt, but what's amazing is just how much anti-Volt energy has been spent not on things like the styling or how the EREV setup is not as efficient as a pure-EV powertrain. As we wait for more official information on the new Volt, we thought it would be fun to go back and look at some of the most wildly incorrect reporting and strangest attacks on the Volt from the archives. There is so much good stuff out there, it was hard to pare the list down, but these are our five favorites. Amazingly, they're not all clips from Fox News. Check 'em out below.
Chevy Volt in production

5. GM Is Going To Stop Making The Chevy Volt In The US

Do you remember when GM was about to move Volt production to China? Well, yeah, this was reported back in early 2012 when a GM executive mentioned that the automaker would get benefits of building the Volt in the places where it sells them. This was spun into a story of GM taking Obama bailout money and then running to China. The Blaze was not happy: "Given the fact that Federal government helped itself to millions and millions of taxpayer dollars under the pretense that it was going to combat high unemployment by creating 'green jobs,' it would seem that moving research and development (and possibly manufacturing) overseas is slightly, well, counterproductive."

Well, of course, that never happened. There's no way to say that GM will never build a version of the Volt in China, but the news we hear rumors of these days is that GM is going to move production of more Volt parts (specifically, the motors) to Michigan from overseas.

4. The Chevy Volt Is A Fire Trap

There has never been a Volt that just spontaneously lit up while driving down the road.

Yes, there were Volts that caught on fire. Yes, that's a scary thing. But there has never been a Volt that just spontaneously lit up while driving down the road. These were crashed test vehicles with destroyed batteries and plugged-in vehicles that were not the cause. In fact, the result of an official investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found no defect in the Volt's batteries and that NHTSA, "does not believe that Chevy Volts or other electric vehicles pose a greater risk of fire than gasoline-powered vehicles."

But, well, you wouldn't know all of that from the breathless coverage about how much of a fiery death trap the Volt is. We've got examples: "The Chevy Cruze is basically a Volt without the dead-weight, flammable 400-pound electric battery," the "oft-flammable Chevy Volt," and, "Readers of my column know that there are few things that I dislike more than the Chevy Volt. ... I don't like that it catches fire." There are plenty more, if you care to find them.

3. The Chevy Volt Will Destroy Your Marriage

This one has confused us ever since Neil Cavuto made it up on Fox Business a few years ago. Somehow, in his mind, arguing over who would plug in the car and then fighting over who forgot would destroy a marriage. While Cavuto has never been shy about his dislike for plug-in vehicles, this is one argument we've never understood and, to be fair, haven't heard repeated around the water cooler much since he first said it. If you'd like to relive the memories, watch this compilation video of Cavuto's anti-Volt crusade and scroll to around 1:50.

Obama

2. The Chevy Volt Is Obama's Failure

President Obama has certainly been a booster of the Chevy Volt, but it is most certainly not 'his' car. Still, for some reason, the plug-in hybrid was attached to the president time and time again, from parody political commercials to spam emails. It was a safe attack for some people to make: tie a president they didn't like to a car they didn't like, even though the bailout happened under the Bush administration, and we should all be able to remember that the 2007 Detroit Auto Show took place two years before Obama took office.

Here's an old video that puts many of these attacks into one 60-second spot. China production? Check. Fires? Double-check. Obama? You betcha.



1. The Chevy Volt Is Dying

Yes, GM would be happy to sell more Volts. That much is obvious. Even after many years on the market, the car still hasn't sold as many as GM had hoped to sell in just one year. While GM once spoke of making 120,000 a year, the truth is that the car has sold around 65,000 since the sales debut in late 2010. The company also leveraged the powertrain into the now-cancelled Opel Ampera and the Cadillac ELR, which is selling slowly (578 units so far this year, through the end of July). Still, the Volt certainly isn't dead or a bad deal or a failure or even wildly unpopular. But that's exactly what people have been saying and hoping for for many years, in some cases saying the car is like Obamacare.

So, as we get ready for the next-gen model to appear in January, it's good to remember that you don't have to look to years past to find people who hate the Volt. Passion against the vehicle remains high, as we can see in this article from the spring. We can only imagine how Volt 2.0 is going to excite the commentariat.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 245 Comments
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I agree that all but the last one is ridiculous. Although it does not look like the Volt is dying or going away, we have every reason to believe that it has fallen far short of the business case that GM hoped it would be. We don't have access to all of the cost to get a true measure, but it certainly looks like from a business case, the Volt has been a failure. The research and design money has already been spent for the most part, and perhaps some of that debt was wiped out in bankruptcy. Sales of the Volt are dramatically below the numbers called for when proposing the Voltec drivetrain as a business case. Leveraging the drivetrain into a separate European model, the Ampera, in fact failed. It looks like leveraging the Volt into a slightly different, yet twice as expensive Cadillac model has also almost certainly failed as a business case. The R&D investment may eventually be recuperated, but it when happen in a much longer time than GM hoped. I am a big fan of the Volt as a car. It is a fantastic vehicle, perhaps one of the best on the road. I hope to buy a Voltec car someday. Looking at the known facts however, I'd bet that any GM exec would admit privately, as a business case, the Volt has so far been a failure. maybe not, though. Perhaps "green publicity" and research into design for far future reaching drivetrains is seen as worthwhile despite temporary loss. Nonetheless, the criticism is far from unfounded.
        purrpullberra
        • 8 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        I'd say it isn't ridiculous because to a large degree the vitriolic anti-GM, anti-Volt message being shoved into the eyes/ears of a great deal of potential customers was the point of the coverage. The 'Volt is dying' coverage was meant to help kill the Volt. It was a thought out, concerted effort. I'm convinced (surprise surprise) that the Volt would be a huge hit if the coverage on FOX would've been supportive and educational. I say that since it was true American innovation at just the right time to give people in the country a lift. But no, FOX is FOX and they do their viewers and the whole world a disservice every minute of every day.
          BipDBo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          I have not watched much Fox News over the last decade or so, but from what I've seen, it's still a lot better than its into this s on the other side of the spectrum, MSNBC. I get most of my news from Huffington Post, But only out of convenience. HP is more flawed, biased, agenda driven and deceptive than any of those others.
          BipDBo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          - antithesis -
          EVnerdGene
          • 8 Months Ago
          @purrpullberra
          Whoa, ' HP is more flawed, biased, agenda driven and deceptive than any of those others. ' but that's where you get your news ? go figure the logic in that
      Joe Del Zotto
      • 1 Year Ago
      The volt IS stupid, it is not a "green" car like so many tout it to be. The entire philosophy behind the car is a joke, (as are most purely electric vehicles) seriously do you actually think the carbon foot print left behind is less that a tradiontal gasoline based car? Keep in mind to build 1 battery people have to mine all of those minerals, ship them around the world making, and eventually putting them in cars that will in all likely-hood last maybe 25 years (if your lucky) before the cells die out. I think who ever wrote this article is acting alittle butt hurt. The best design for a truly green vehicles are hydrogen based cars. What Cavuto is saying is that's not a real solution to the "green" movement. So how about you take your political trash to another website.
        Mark Sumner
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Joe Del Zotto
        Hey, good on you man. Just because your talking points were debunked years ago, and people who have actually done the math have demonstrated that you're orders of magnitude wrong, don't let that stop you,
          tagberto
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Mark Sumner
          He obviously is a strong believer in recycling (of debunked arguments)
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Joe Del Zotto
        Joe, Hydrogen based cars are not better than EV's. I f hydrogen gas is made from electrolysis (separating water to hydrogen & oxygen), it takes 3 times more energy to create than the energy you get from the hydrogen gas in a fuel cell vehicle. Most hydrogen gas is not made from electrolysis because it is inefficient. Instead, industry creates hydrogen gas from fossil fuels. So, that hydrogen car will not be cheap to operate. Electric vehicles, on the other hand, convert over 90% of the electricity they are fed into motion down the road. That electricity can be 100% renewable. If not, powerplants are still vastly more efficient than an internal combustion engine. Electric cars are very cheap to operate. Nearly every house & business in the U.S. has an electrical outlet. If not, it is really cheap to install an electrical outlet compared to building a hydrogen refueling station. I believe the U.S. has maybe 6 hydrogen refueling stations total. Hydrogen fuel cell cars have to hold hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is the lightest element, it doesn't hold much energy density unless you pack it under very high pressure (we're talking 10,000 psi to get a decent range, much higher than a compressed air tank). As such, a safe hydrogen tank (they are tested over a bonfire & with gun shots & with several thousand cycles of fill & purge for leaks) will require thick, lined carbon fiber tanks and these are very expensive. The fuel cell itself use a catalyst to convert hydrogen ions into electricity. Catalyst materials are PGM (platinum group metals). These rare earth metals are expensive. Combining the fuel cell cost & the tank make fuel cell cars too expensive. Fueling a 10,000psi hydrogen tank is not quick. We're talking a 1/2 hour wait and you won't be doing it at home or at work like you would with an electric car. That's for a 150 mile range fuel cell car. The FCV (fuel cell vehicle) is a wild goose chase. Electric cars are the future and can save people money & save the environment right now.
          • 8 Months Ago
          http://cleantechnica.com/2014/08/11/electric-buses-overall-best-co2-health-price-hydrogen-worst/
        Ryan
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Joe Del Zotto
        What is the 'carbon footprint' of drilling for oil, refining it, and shipping it. And that only gets you a few miles one time. H2 has other problems. It still has the electricity generation problem, and transport/storage issues. And where can you fill up close to home?
          jimmy_james44
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Ryan
          Just the electricity used to refine oil alone could power a whole fleet of EV's. Oil was better then Coal. EV's/Solar/Wind now By Far better then Oil. Times change.
          Grendal
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Ryan
          In 2011, it was 765 billion kWh used to refine oil into gasoline. That would power a cr@pload of EVs.
        Jesse Gurr
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Joe Del Zotto
        Uh, Joe, You do realize that hydrogen cars have batteries too, right?
      • 1 Year Ago
      On point #4 Electric cars are far safer (we need to keep repeating that), over 250,000 gas powered cars catch fire every year. The media has gotten somewhat better over the "fire" issue, but a few years ago no context was given how many gas powered cars catch fire! Some of the hysterical reporting was crazy. Gasoline DOES burn real good! :) Ask Pinto owners.
      Worx2749
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's what happens when all you listen to and believe is right-wing GARBAGE.
        HollywoodF1
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Worx2749
        My dad has listened to rightist talk radio for hours a day for decades. Recently, I found out he's never heard of the Koch brothers. Wrap your brain around that one.
          rcavaretti
          • 8 Months Ago
          @HollywoodF1
          There are many factions in the game.
      bluepongo1
      • 1 Year Ago
      http://www.wired.com/2014/07/go-inside-the-lab-where-gm-tears-apart-its-competitors-cars/
      CaptTesla
      • 8 Months Ago
      Dont confuse driving on gas versus electric. Can't mix the 2. On gas it is very poor and in efficient. 35-40 is not good when the Cruze does better with same car. And inky way to drive the hybrid in electric mode often is to block chargers from true EV's.
      Rex Seven
      • 1 Year Ago
      Number 2 actually proves the Volt is mostly a failure. Anything that succeeds (which have been few and far between) is ALL OBAMA's. Anything that fails (which are all over) is someone else' fault or the limited success would be better if not for someone else. He is a colossal douche commie who never takes responsibility for his mistakes or failures. And his supporters never do either which makes them enablers. That said, the Volt is a decent idea. It has been applied fairly well. The problem with the Volt is inherent with its strength. It tries to eliminate the weakness of a full ER (range anxiety) with the engine generator. This gives it most of the strengths of a gas engine car and some of the strengths of a full EV. However, it also gives it almost all of the weaknesses of both. It is heavy. It still burns gas. Batteries are expensive (and dirty to make and dispose of or recycle). Plus you still have all of the maintenance required of a gas engine and its auxiliary components. It is expensive even with socialism assist (subsidies). One thing most people don't realize is the long gestation period of a car. Especially one so different in concept from normal cars. This car's conception was WAY before The One ascended the throne. Ironically, I agree with Obama in one way. I think it should have been aborted.
        brotherkenny4
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Rex Seven
        He's not a commie, but rather the typical corporatist. So, perhaps use collosal douche corporatist. Both give you the same CDC initials. The real problem with the Volt is GM and their typical dealerships. They should price it $2,500 less and train the dealerships to promote it, not spout the FOX lies. I have been to 10 chevy dealerships and only one really wanted to sell the car. I have literally had the first thing out of a salemans mouth be "you don't want to buy that, besides GM loses money on every one they sell". That makes it difficult to have a success.
      Revis Goodworth
      • 1 Year Ago
      The first three items were never widely circulated reasons - I'm not surprised that the sister to Honduhblog would have to fabricate three reasons to hate the VaporVolt. Actually the fourth one is accurate - It is Obama's car - if any of you actually followed the bailout, you'd know that there were only two reasons that GM was saved - first to payback the UAW by giving them preferential treatment in bankruptcy proceedings and to keep a major Democrat donor solvent. The other reason was the existence of the VaporVolt and that in order to get it produced, significant compromises were made to make sure it was produced. You'd never design a vehicle this poorly engineered if you really wanted to sell it - it was a last minute change using as many off the shelf parts - and since Obama was the reason that GM was bailed out, this is his car because of his environmental nazi neo-communist hate for America. You should also be notified that upwards of $10 billion of the bailout went back to China where GM expanded operations there and another $1 billion went to Germany to save Opel. The VaporVolt may not be dying but it is only on life support. It is not economical to own or purchase and you'd be better off buying an $18k with 40 mpgs and driving it 12 years before you'd spend enough just to buy a VaporVolt.
        vegasstyleguy
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        You Sir, are an idiot. Nazi and Neo Communist can not be used tied together as they are mortal enemies. How you FOX types manage to know nothing about history yet continually use historical terms would be laughable if it weren't so pathetic. And to try and tie Oba ma to Nazis is just plain bizarre. HE"S BLACK REMEMBER THAT's WHY YOU REALLY HATE HIM.
        OptimusPrimeRib
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        It looks like you've overdosed on Republicanism. You should seek immediate help.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        So much idiocy. In any bankruptcy proceedings, employee wage/pension will always be more senior than unsecured debtors and stockholders. This is not a conspiracy. This is as it should be. Also- all that was decided by the bankruptcy court. Obama maybe a 'socialist dictator' or whatever, but he doesn't run the judicial branch. The administration's involvement was to lend money to GM after it emerged from bankruptcy. And the Volt was not poorly engineered. It was an ugly car, but the reliability was excellent. IIt was rated best in segment in the JD Powers 3 year reliability study. It is GM's most reliable car, according to Consumer Report ratings. And it's a nonsensical talking point that bailout money went to China. GM sells more cars in China than it does in the US of A. Of course GM is building cars in China. GM sales in China is keeping GM alive. It's the brightest spot in GM's prospects. Only an idiot would spin it into a problem.
        Tweaker
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        Don't feed the troll please.
        Matt
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        You are seriously loopy, dude.
        Making11s
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        There's a whole lot of willful ignorance and delusion in there, but "VaporVolt", for some reason, strikes me as being most absurd. If you can go out and buy it, it's obviously not vaporware.
        EVnerdGene
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Revis Goodworth
        There is some truth here. After ingesting over $50 Billion in gov funds, GM did major expansion in China. About six months ago, US Treasury wrote-off $11.3 Billion of that bailout.
      wooootles
      • 1 Year Ago
      Here's my take: #5 random Laser/Revis Goodworth comment on the internet #4 random Laser/Revis Goodworth comment on the internet #3 random Laser/Revis Goodworth comment on the internet #2 random Laser/Revis Goodworth comment on the internet #1 random Laser/Revis Goodworth comment on the internet BONUS: random Laser/Revis Goodworth comment on the internet You didn't have to look farther, Autoblog
      Bryce
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have 20k miles on my 2013 Volt and I'm getting 190mpg, I charge for free at work so it's been a wonderful car for me.
      KeiCarLvr
      • 1 Year Ago
      Stupid people making stupid assumptions about things they don't know about. Film at 11.
      Shawn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well...this is one way to get people to come to Autoblog Green.
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