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Do you think the total life-time cost of the Volt will be cheaper than gas cars?

  • Yes, the Volt will likely be an economical car to drive.

    Votes: 5 41.7%
  • No, the Volt will likely have too high of an initial cost.

    Votes: 4 33.3%
  • Not sure, it's too soon to tell.

    Votes: 3 25.0%
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· Registered
598 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm sure I'm not the only one here that fired up Excel and did a few simple "what-if's" on the life-time energy costs of the Volt compared to a cheap gas car. Here are my findings:

At $30,000 for the Volt, gas would have to be roughly $4.60/gal for the Volt to be more economical than a gas car. At $35,000, $5.90/gal. At $48,000, $9.30/gal.

So in other words, if the Volt came out at $48,000, it would be like buying a $15,000 gas car and paying over $9/gal for gas.

Of course, this is assuming there are no tax credits, and I'm using our DTE residential peak electricity rate including all fees (which is what we pay here). I also didn't take into account maintenance (which I would assume would be less on the Volt), insurance, repairs, etc... All the variables are in the spreadsheet (attached) and can be tweaked.

The spreadsheet also has a cell to account for tax credits ($5,000 if HR 6049 passes) for EVs, which I personally feel will make or break the Volt as an affordable alternative for most Americans come 2010.


· Registered
1,803 Posts
I know we're bored and want something to talk about while we painfully wait for the Volt, but it's way too soon to have any real idea what this car is going to cost to own. We don't know what the retail price will be, we don't know what the insurance will cost, we don't know what energy costs will be in 2010, we don't know what tax incentives, if any, we'll be getting and we also have no idea about the long term performance of the battery pack.

My WAG is this car will be expensive all around and it will not compare to a gasoline powered car very well in terms of cost savings. In addition, there will also be plenty of hybrid and more diesel options out there by 2010, so this car will have a tough time competing on the cost savings alone. I believe that the early adopters of this car will do so for geo-political and environmental reasons or just because they love new technologies much like the people that install solar panels on their houses now. People that just want to save a buck on gasoline charges will likely crunch the numbers and shop elsewhere. This was the case for early adopters of the Prius too.

· Registered
661 Posts
For me, its quite simple.

I will need a new car anyway around about 2011 (based on projected mileage and a currently 13yr old daughter). She gets the Grand AM @ 170K miles, I get the Volt. :)

I currently spend ~$15/day on gas commuting to work. The Volt, with daytime and nighttime charging, will cost about $4/day equivalent. So I save about $10-11/day. X 5 or 6 dys/wk; x 52 weeks. I will save ~$3000 a year on gas. Is it worth it?

I would have a higher car payment with the Volt, but the monthly gas savings will easily cover the difference. Then......

I don't care much about what gas will cost in the future.
I can feel I'm part of the future solution, not the past problems.
I can support GM and American companies.
I can drive the most innovative car on the road.
I can constantly brag about how little I have to spend on gas. (This fact alone might be enough!)

So, its easy. Yes, the Volt works for me. Just PLEASE! Style it right! If it looks like crap, I will not buy it. I'll buy a used Grand Am for $5K and wait until they build an E-flex I like.
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