It's been a tough few weeks of publicity for the Chevrolet Volt, the extended-range electric car that's the green halo vehicle at General Motors.
Now, despite sales below GM's announced target and an NHTSA inquiry into fires in the lithium-ion battery pack several weeks after they were involved in destructive crash tests, Volt owners are fighting back.
Late last week and over the weekend, more than 50 Volt owners have added their name to an open letter entitled "Why We're Keeping Our Keys," including none other than former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm (Volt # 3748).
First promoted on the 250-member Facebook Chevy Volt Owners group and published late Friday in the Detroit Free Press, the letter says, "We are keeping the keys to our Volts. We love our Volts and we feel safe driving our Volts."
Indeed, those feelings seem to be universally shared by the Volt owners we've spoken with.
"It has been a great car since I've owned it," said Silicon Valley resident and venture capitalist Brett Bullington, "Great quality, handles nice, good power, comfortable, I recommend it to my friends, my kids drive it!"
"I just love driving my Volt!" he continued, noting that he's "getting 287 mpg now, down from 325 mpg."
2012 Chevrolet VoltEnlarge Photo
Governor Granholm even defended the Volt on her public Facebook page, replying numerous times to uninformed and hostile posts on the Volt from commenters.
She too posted the Free Press article, declaring bluntly, "Best. Car. Ever. And I'm not alone in my love affair with the Volt."
The letter spread quickly around the electric-car world, including the influential CalCars website, and if you follow these things, you may well see more coverage of it today.
The letter from the Volt owners ends on an optimistic and forward-looking note:
Lastly, we encourage every driver in this country to test drive a plug-in electric car for him- or herself. There is only one way to really know the electric car experience – and that is to drive one.
We are leading the way for a new movement in America – a movement to bring the joy back in driving, save money, and invest in our future. We look forward to you joining us.