My volt was awesome in year 1 with new tires. Year 2 was a bit slippery, but I never got stuck. I even took the volt out after we had packed snow during Snowageddon 2 followed by a layer of ice. It was hard to stop the car with brakes-only because the antilock brakes became anti brake locks. It was far easier to control the car by popping it into L and articulating the accelerator to speed up and slow down.
So in preparation for Snowageddon 3, it was time for new tires anyway. I splurged and bought new 18" rims, new TPMSes, and new Yokohama Avid Ascends for my spring/summer/fall tire then put Yokohama ICEguards on my OEM wheels. Of course it has barely snowed since. The one time I drove my snow and ice tires in a snowstorm, the car was a beast - braking and traction was off the charts compared to regular all-season tires.
So for your friend in NC, I'd say the Volt is great. Just make sure you have newer tires before winter arrives. I wouldn't pay extra for winter tires in NC.
Funny story: the last time I was in NC was when I was interviewing for my first job during my senior year in college at IBM (1988). We started the interview, it started snowing, they closed the factory, and the entire community emptied the grocery stores in a panic that I've never seen in snowy Illinois. The airport was closed, so I was able stay in the hotel until the airport reopened. The next day, I drove around town in my little Buick front wheel drive rental amazed at how everyone in NC is afraid of the snow.
Needless to say, they rescheduled the interview, I came back, got a job offer, but decided to go to grad school instead. A few years later were the biggest layoffs in IBM's history, so I think I dodged a bullet.