After Chevrolet announced the new Volt would not be released in Europe, a French group called Association Amperistes et Amis des Véhicules Rechargeable placed a petition on change.org intent on reversing the decision.
The petition is directed at General Motors, Chevy’s parent company, which has decided not to release the newest Volt in Europe due to declining sales and popularity. After a greatly successful year back in 2012, when the Volt and Ampera were named European Car of the Year, sales waned as GM declined to market or advertise the vehicles.
The cars still enjoy a strong following after dominating the plug-in (including hybrids and pure electrics) market in 2012, when the Ampera won 20% of the market share.
The petitioners advocate for the car’s true electric range of 40-80 European kilometers and gasoline fuel economy comparable to conventional cars in its class, allowing some drivers a lifetime fuel consumption of less than 1l/100km. Additionally, consumers rated the Volt with the highest satisfaction (92%) of any GM car, according to a JDPower survey.
With an electric range improved by 40% and a lowered price, on the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle European market, where no model can claim the same versatility and electric range as the Volt or Ampera, one wonders why GM would decline to release the new generation in Europe, especially with overall plug-in sales growing so fast there.
According to the petitioners, “To continue to provide the consumers with an intermediate choice between expensive or range-limited pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids with a miserable electric range (…35 to 40 real electric kilometers, and mandatory ICE start above a certain speed), it is necessary – if not essential – that a car such as the second-generation Chevrolet Volt be available on the European market … Such a model in (Europe) will also encourage other manufacturers to make serious efforts to stop considering electric propulsion as an under-dimensioned solution in rechargeable hybrid architecture … GM has already understood that it must first be daily electric and emission-free.”
The market is likely more saturated than it was in the heyday of 2012 but the car still has its following, and clear competitive advantages.
Check out the petition at change.org.