The matter seems to signal a major change in the North American line of thinking when it comes to the hybrid vehicle market. For a long time, Chevrolet has been competing most fiercely with the Nissan Leaf — which, for those keeping score, only sold 685 units in August 2012 — and it seems to be definitively winning the battle. While corporate heads all around have insisted that the two vehicles are not truly in the running against each other neither consumers nor industry experts are fooled.
The question between the Leaf and the Volt comes down to a philosophical approach to the electric alternative fuel source: while the Leaf is entirely run on battery power, the Volt utilizes a plug-in hybrid system that relies entirely on battery power for a certain amount of miles, and afterwards is supplemented by its gasoline engine. In this way, the Volt offers drivers the advantage of having an all-electric vehicle if they take short trips, while still enjoying the long-distance capabilities of a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle — something Leaf owners miss dearly.
And it seems that the market has spoken: while it’s important to be able to save money at the gas pump — and Volt owners emphatically report that they do — the point of a vehicle is to have flexibility and freedom. If a driver is forced to adjust their entire schedule around their vehicle’s powertrain, it defeats the point.
Drivers in Chicagoland who are looking to experience the advantage of the Chevy Volt firsthand can visit Ray Chevrolet’s Fox Lake, IL showroom, where they can also check out the rest of the automaker’s lineup of superb cars, trucks, and SUVs.