After I got into my little Accident last month, I was pondering what I'd do if they totaled it. I'd been pondering the idea of an all-electric-drivetrain car for a while. Right now, for something that would meet my needs, that would mean the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt, or the Tesla roadster. There are some other options, but nothing really adequate to what I'm looking for. Now, the Tesla is what I /want/, but I'm unlikely to afford it any time soon. We test drove a Leaf a few weeks ago, because Sound Nissan has one. There's a year-and-a-half waiting list for them, IF you can get on the waiting list. It's all-electric, and with no backup. It's got a 100 mile range, which is plenty for my regular activities, but - and this seems to be the standard I'm applying to such things - I can't drive to Portland without stopping to charge. It's got a 440V super-fast charge port, which will get you to 80% in 30 minutes, so I could stop in Centralia and get lunch each way, but that's not the same. Gas, for all its faults, at least makes for a really fast recharge when you're out of motive energy.
The Volt, on the other hand, is an all-electric drive train, BUT it has an on-board gas-powered generator as backup. It's only 35mi range electric, but the gas backup gets you another 300 or so miles, on less than ten gallons of gas. The electric range is enough for damn near everything I need to drive for, but the gas backup let's me drive cross-country in it if I need to.
I also like how it feels, and how it handles, and how it performs. I'm not /thrilled/ that the window height is such that I can't comfortably hang my arm out the window, but that's not a significant negative point. It doesn't have a huge amount of ground clearance; about one of my handspans.
So. By itself, as a vehicle, I like it. I would have no reservations about buying a Volt that relate to the car in itself.
The ground clearance is a concern. If you've seen our garage, you know that one side has a rather steep approach, requiring a fair amount of ground clearance to enter. Joshua has no problems. I doubt the Volt would make it. The Prius /might/, we'd need to test that, in which case loree and I could switch sides.
The next concern is the price. Because Chevy hasn't started selling them here yet - and doesn't currently intend to until late this year - the dealership we visited is buying them from dealers in california, at a markup. A $4000 markup. The MSRP is about $42k, so their /cost/ is 46k, and their unhaggled list price starts at $52. Um... yeah. It would be cheaper to /fly/ to california, buy one there, and drive it back.
Finally, and this one is kinda stupid... I honestly didn't think I'd ever own another american car. I'd be tempted to wait until Honda came out with an equivalent of the Volt, except I just /know/ they'd build it on the Civic base, and I hate the Civic.
So. Yeah. Pondering, pondering.
Meanwhile, I should go check my credit score.