For several misplaced reasons, the Chevrolet Volt has been a whipping boy for many people fearful that their beloved automotive way of life is about to be destroyed, or for folks who have issues with the government bailout. To the rest of the population, though, the Volt leaves them scratching their collective heads in confusion. Still.
Three years into the Volt’s tenure, people still have no real understanding of what it is. Is it a conventional car? Is it a hybrid like the Prius? Is it something else? According to CNET, Chevrolet admits that the Volt’s drivetrain may still be a little confusing to the general consumer who is used to regular vehicles or even hybrids like the Prius.
Of course, what differentiates the Volt from the Prius is that the latter is a gas car with electric assist, while the Volt is the inverse. Chevy admits that car shoppers looking for personal transportation likely have not have given the Volt’s powertrain proper consideration because they don’t understand it. The way gas mileage is reported for alternative-fuel vehicles certainly doesn’t help car shoppers—translating the benefits in an easy-to-understand manner is one of the challenges. “One of our key messages is that our owners … on average, go 900 miles between each fill-up,” Volt Marketing Manager Dora Norwicki told CNET. That’s certainly easier to understand than “98 MPGe.”
Notably, the Prius also experienced a public that was confused on the benefits of a hybrid vehicle, but over time it became familiar—especially in California. The Volt likely will experience a similar familiarity curve.