2011 Chevy Volt: Official GM Propaganda On Why It's Better

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2011 Chevrolet Volt in Waco, Texas, en route during the 1,776-mile Freedom Drive PR stunt

2011 Chevrolet Volt in Waco, Texas, en route during the 1,776-mile Freedom Drive PR stunt

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Forgive us our weariness, please.

It's only Thursday, but the barrage of news about the two upcoming electric cars that will go on sale for the 2011 model year is wearing us down.

Nonetheless, we have manfully pulled ourselves together to bring you the video at the bottom of this piece, in which General Motors explains why it thinks the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is a better electric car than the 2011 Nissan Leaf.

No dialogue, mind you. It's more like a Powerpoint with jazzy repetitive synth music behind it.

First, a quick recap. The 2011 Volt is a range-extended electric car. Its lithium-ion battery pack provides up to 40 miles of all-electric running which, GM reiterates ad nauseam, is enough to cover the daily travel logged by fully 78 percent of U.S. vehicles.

Then the Volt's gasoline engine switches on, not to power the wheels, but to run a generator that provides electricity to the motor that actually makes the car move. That's good for another 300 miles or so. Refill the tank, and you get 300 more miles. Et cetera.

The 2011 Nissan Leaf, on the other hand, is an all-electric hatchback that has just its battery pack and electric motor. It claims a range of up to 100 miles, after which it must be plugged in to recharge the pack for several hours--no range extender.

So as we predicted months ago, the Volt marketing is all about this being the no-compromises electric vehicle, the one you can take on road trips without worrying about range anxiety, or extremes of hot or cold temperatures.

Tonally, it's a mix of the advantages of an electric car--quiet, smooth, lots of power ("V-6 like acceleration"!), no gasoline--and a large helping of reassurance that the new technology has been thoroughly tested.

In fact, says the video, the 2011 Chevy Volt comes with the "longest, most comprehensive battery warranty of any electric vehicle." We think that's not quite true, as Nissan matched the Volt battery warranty on Tuesday. Perhaps there's fine print.

Incidentally, the film blends new and old footage. We noticed at least one anachronism: the old design of Volt gear-shift lever, now superseded by a newer style. But we digress.

In any case, if you're not up for the embedded video, we've grabbed a few screen captures and put them into the slide show above. It will give you the general idea and several of GM's talking points.

So here's our question: Does this video make you feel more reassured about the 2011 Chevrolet Volt? Do you want to get one more now?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

[General Motors]

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Comments (7)
  1. Ir's a practical combo.

  2. Still getting the Leaf - the whole point for me is getting rid of the gas engine completely.

  3. The Volt is the perfect car for me, while the Leaf is interesting I suppose I'm one of those people that suffer from "Range Anxiety". I look forward to gas free commutes to and from work. Thanks GM!

  4. I think GM's negative advertising hurts the electrification of the automobile. The FUD campaign to create and exploit public range anxiety to undermine true mass-production electric vehicles for GM's benefit so they can sell a limited production halo vehicle is selfish and wrong. Hopefully, people will see through this...

  5. Um, what negative advertising? The message, loud and clear from GM, is that this is the ONLY car you need without fear that you will ever be stranded should you need to drive more than 100 miles. It would pretty damn stupid of GM if they didn't advertise this FACT. Sorry GM doesn't advertise to fit the agenda of the Leaf. And limited production halo car? What planet are you living on? Production will ramp up next year to 20,000 units and this technology is already slated for other GM vehicles. On another note, the Volt has a much cleaner, cripser look than the ungainly Leaf and a much better interior! So YES, the VOLT is the better car : by 240 miles!

  6. Leaf is good, but I'm sticking with the Tesla S.
    It's American, bigger car, more spacious, and it provides a higher miles range of over 300 miles on single 45 minutes charge. Now, compare that with Leaf's ONLY 100 miles.
    Mathematically and money wise speaking, Tesla S offers three times more miles range than the Leaf's..
    The CLEAR winner, Tesla S!!!
    Yes, I agree,

  7. The recurrent negative tone of your articles on the Volt do little for your credibility. The vehicle will serve the needs of many people where no other electric car has the ability. At such time as there is a network of battery swap stations or a fully functional national mass transit system, the Volt will reduce gasoline usage remarkably. I regularly drive five miles to my office, and I also regularly drive 80 miles to court hearings and at least twice monthly must drive on 720 mile round trips. Precisely which of the other vehicles which do not suffer the sarcasm directed at the Volt would you suggest I obtain?
    Thank you

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