Over the past couple months we have written a lot here at AllSmallCars.com about the 2011 Chevrolet Volt with some skepticism that we will fully admit to. However, we feel that the question of the Volts' success is paramount to the future of automotive technology from GM. We also have to consider that Toyota (now No. 1 in the world) is supposed to bring out a plug-in hybrid before the end of 2011, which makes the questions around the Volt even more pertinent.

Earlier today, our partners over at GreenCarReports.com published a detailed comparison called: Faceoff: 2011 Chevrolet Volt Vs 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid. From the title you can surmise that they compared the soon-to-be Prius plug-in hybrid and the Volt; we suggest it as a must read. Why? The article evokes several questions, one of which is asked at the end of the piece: “Will the experience of pure electric drive for three times the distance give the Volt an edge over a Prius Plug-In engine that stops and starts whenever it wants?”

This is my view, one in the midst of hundreds of automotive journalists; both cars are going to be priced high enough (somewhere in the $30-40K range) that the average entry-level consumer won’t be able to afford it. Then it is in competition with smaller cars like the C-Class Mercedes and BMW 3-Series that have fairly large price tags, but carry a certain status with them—I don’t think people will bail on those brands for the Chevrolet Volt. Then you have the mid-size market that the Ford Fusion Hybrid calls home; a vehicle that has been very well received and has a range double that of the Volt when it is in extended range mode. The key to that last statement is the versatility the current Fusion and Prius hybrids offer.

2010 chevrolet volt 009

2010 chevrolet volt 009


So here is the bottom line: The Volt is a great car if you know you are going to drive 40 miles a day with perhaps a few trips that put it in extended range mode. My hunch though is that the entry price and impulsive nature of the average consumer will cause skepticism as to whether they really only drive 40 miles a day. Then the door will be opened to going over to the competition, Toyota, who already has a strong following in the hybrid market.P.S. the plug-in Prius would make much better Taxicabs because of the versatility of the hybrid technology.

Be sure to check out the details in the comparison over at GreenCarReports.com. Also, check out our full coverage of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt here.