More than 3,200 of you voted. And the results of the first Changing Gears-Jalopnik-TrueCar poll are in.
You say Volt is a hybrid-electric car.
How you voted:
25.6% Whatever GM says it is
6.9% Electric vehicle
The Chevrolet Volt is finally on the verge of reaching showrooms, just in time for a lively debate about what it actually is. We want you to settle it.
Do you consider the Volt to be an electric car, as GM has maintained during the past four years? Or is it a plug-in hybrid vehicle, since it has a motor and a battery to provide power to the wheels?
The Volt’s fate is vital to GM, its workers, its stock offering and to American and Canadian taxpayers, who own two-thirds of the company. That makes it an important car to our region.
Two years ago, GM made the Volt the linchpin of its effort to convince Congress to provide the auto industry with a $25 billion bailout. I wrote about that bid on the front page of The New York Times.
When it failed to win Congressional backing, GM again used the Volt to show the Obama Administration that it had a plan for the future. President Obama has referred to the car numerous times, and has been behind the wheel.
And GM, has repeatedly said the Volt would be the first of a number of technologically advanced cars that would lead it out of the industry’s worst sales slump in a quarter century.
But in recent months, GM had been reducing the amount of attention it was giving to the Volt. Our Dan Bobkoff reported last week on the Chevrolet Cruze, which many people at GM are now saying is the most important car in its lineup.
That changed this week, when Jalopnik and other Web sites that follow the industry began reporting on new details about the car. GM, which is still calling it an electrically driven vehicle, acknowledged that in some instances, the Volt’s front wheels receive an assist from the car’s small gasoline motor.
Definition is important in the auto business. Classifying Volt as an electric vehicle places it into a category with little competition, namely from the Nissan Leaf, and it piques the curiosity of a techno-savvy public.
But if Volt is considered a hybrid, even a plug-in one, it will compete in a crowded field led by cars like the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, and Ford Fusion.
When it comes to any car, consumers hold the key (or the key fob). What’s your view on Volt?