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September 9, 2009

Survey says… nearly half of Americans want to buy something like the Volt, but do they want to pay?

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2011 Chevrolet Volt – click above for a high res image gallery

The Chevrolet Volt is a data driven design in many ways. The shape is driven by aerodynamic data. It’s conception was in part driven by public perception data. Its powertrain architecture was driven by empirical data about how drivers actually use their cars. For example, roughly three quarters of all drivers in the U.S. use their vehicles less than 40 miles per day and the Volt will be able to drive on the battery alone for that distance.

Thus the results of a new survey from Pike Research should not be a surprise to anyone. Among 1,041 respondents, 48 percent indicated they were “extremely” or “very” interested in buying a plug-in hybrid with a 40-mile electric range. They also said they would like to have public charging stations at work, school and shopping locations.

There is just one small fly in the ointment. A willingness, or rather an unwillingness, to pay the cost. All indications are that cars like the Volt or even a plug-in Prius are likely to cost somewhere around $40,000 before incentives. A similar conventional car rarely costs more than about $20-25,000. The survey showed customers willing to pay about a 12 percent premium for such a car. Even starting from $25K, that only gets you to $28,000, leaving a hefty gap to overcome. This is going to be a serious problem for car-makers in the next 5-10 years as the government pushes for plug-in vehicles.

Gallery: 2011 Chevy Volt

[Source: Pike Research]

Survey says… nearly half of Americans want to buy something like the Volt, but do they want to pay? originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 09 Sep 2009 14:54:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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