VIDEO: Will Electric Cars Like The Chevy Volt Save You Money?

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The problem with shooting video is that there's always one thing you forget to say until the camera's gone.

Especially if it's low-budget and done on the fly. That's when the onscreen talent tends to forget to qualify some of the things they say.

Like, for instance, this discussion of the unlikely nature of actually saving money over a conventional four-seat compact car if you buy the $41,000 2011 Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car.

Some of things we left out in this two-minute video:

  • While the price is $41,000, many dealers are adding thousands of dollars in markups;
  • On the other hand, buyers are often eligible for a $7,500 Federal income-tax credit for their purchase;
  • And there is a bewildering array of various state, local, and corporate incentives as well;
  • But, most important, payback depends entirely on your driving habits.

If, for example, you only ever drove your Volt 25 to 40 miles a day, so all of its miles were run on grid power, and you did that most days, and pay electricity rates that are low by national standards ... you might well save money over a long term of ownership (10 years or more, say).

We stand by our conclusion that most owners won't see a payback, but as usual, two minutes is too little in which to discuss the complexities of electric-car economics fully.

Let us know what you think of our latest video effort: Leave us your thoughts in the Comments section below.


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