i think the bad rep the volt is getting is and are from where the car stands at the momentin the market. although someone has to push the envelope at some point for tech to grow, but the vehicle is still yet a mere inconvenience since there are no charge stations available like a gas station. plus, you still use gas engine as range extender so in reality it feels like you would be just as good as running a small displacement engine or even a NEW diesel engine.
for me personally, the gripe is about being "green" or "efficient" perception that this car gives to the public and has wrapped it self with. yes, anyone can advertise anything in anyway, but is the perception also the reality it unfolds? i beg to differ because you're burning fossil fuel to...
1) Lithium ion production
2) battery production
3) freight/shipping battery(s)
4) energizing the new manufacturing process
5) you still pump gas.
6) battery replacement... and the process it takes to trash it.
if 40+ mpg and decent handling is what is enough to justify this car for someone and gives a valuable reason to be built, then i would say why not a give an early to mid 90s civic a try? plus, one costs over $38k and one costs less than $10k, but if a styling and the looks is a factor then i rest my case (but i doubt its the style and the looks).
second is the tax credit voucher, why not give the price a break instead? im sure some dealers are by taking your voucher, but im sure tax credit means, in a single fiscal year, you would have to earn or make enough and pay taxes over the amount which that would qualify for the return. simply, 3500 credit doesn't mean 3500 cash from IRS.
lastly the price point this car put it self at brings not only prius as its competition, but every other car in that range which includes BMW, AUDI, ACURA, HONDA, MB, HYUNDAI, MAZDA etc... etc... so with most consumers trying to push their $ to the limit these days, it needs to offer more (value and not just bit higher mpg) or be more (much more) affordable, heck a base F30 328i gets 38mpg now days. oh and how long would it take for one to offset the price difference of the car with the money they save at the pump? 10yrs? 20yrs? perhaps longer since the 40mpg is the new 30 mpg pretty much across the board. either way its pointless calculation since average U.S. consumers flip their cars with in 5 yrs of ownership.
just thought i share my thoughts.
driving is poetry in motion.