Motor Trends Auto Shows, Inc., will bring the Arizona International Auto Show to the Valley in November, and is sure to have the newest electric car technology as showcase items. According to an Associated Press report, sales of electric cars, specifically the Chevrolet Volt, set a monthly record this past August. However much of the increase is due to rebates which customers can save up to $10,000 off the ticket price. Still, most Americans scoff at paying anything over $30,000 for an electric vehicle. From Tucson Chevrolet dealers to car lots in Baltimore, Chevy is looking to continue their Volt charge nationwide.
A Deloitte survey taken last year asked over 13,000 people in 17 countries what it would take for them to consider buying an electric vehicle. Predictably, the range per charge and the overall price were the biggest deterrents for Americans. But with sales records being broken, there is a market for the Volt and the question is, who are they?
The most obvious buyers of the Chevy Volt are green technology and clean environment advocates looking to do their part in saving the Earth’s ecosystems. With leasing options starting as low as $2,400 out-of-pocket and less than $250 per month for 36 months, the Volt is in a price range attainable by just about anyone considered middle class or even lower middle class. Television ads for the Volt are shown extensively during primetime network television shows. This means Chevy is targeting the 18 to 49 year-old demographic. The ads tend to feature owners dressed conservatively and speaking highly of the vehicle’s reliability and gas mileage.
Chevy Volt owners are very active on internet message boards and forums, defending their eco-friendly conveyances against critics they say have no idea what they’re talking about. An article on Forbes.com about the recent increase in sales of the Volt contains a comment by Jeff Kuper, admitting he is a proud and “not completely unbiased” owner, wrote that most of the criticisms regarding his vehicle are myths or completely false.
Another comment left by Leo Karl says it is word of mouth by satisfied owners like himself which is driving the uptick in sales. In fact, there is a website solely dedicated to Volt owners and their happy stories from using only eight gallons of gas in an entire year to trading their Jeep Cherokee for a Volt. Steve Hounam commented on chevroletvoltage.com that he had just bought only his second tank of gas in the two months he’s owned the vehicle, while driving 60 miles per day.
Arizonans will get a chance to see the Volt and many other electric vehicles this November in Downtown Phoenix. However, the general consensus among actual Volt owners can be summed in that seeing isn’t necessarily believing. As gasoline prices continue to rise, great leasing options continue to be available, and vocal owners keep up their public relations campaigns, the Volt isn’t going anywhere soon. But it will likely take government subsidies and/or a conscious effort by the legislator to lower prices to make the Volt and other electric vehicles the rule as opposed to the exception.