Comparison Between the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Comparison Between the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Comparison Between the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius

Plug-in Hybrid Car WarsWith the Chevy Volt making so many waves in the automotive world, it's no surprise to see so many comparisons being made with the hybrid cars of today. But Toyota also has a plug-in version of the Prius coming, plus the next generation Prius is due in the next couple of years.

But which is going to be better? Obviously, GM has collected quite a few fans of the new Chevy Volt, but according to the truth about cars, the Prius will still come out on top.

The Comparison
There are three comparisons: owner economics, environmental benefits and “green cachet” (to both owner and manufacturer). The Prius comes out on top in economics because the Volt pricetag is going to be so much higher than the Prius (either the next generation or the plug-in version). Until the Volt price comes down, the savings in gas just cannot make up the difference.

That argument is a little bit naive, but until we know what the used price will be, it's really hard to estimate the cost to own. Since there are no other plug-in cars out there to compare to, how can we guess how much a used Volt will go for?

Environmentally, they say it's almost a draw, but I would think it would depend on how long your drive is and where you get your electricity from. But there's no doubt the Volt will consume less gasoline.

The last argument could go to GM. While the Prius has given Toyota a green 'halo' to work with, it has been around for over a decade. People may decide to flock to a new banner, partly to make a change, and partly in a real effort to move off of gas altogether.

In summary
It's clear the Prius will be a better economical choice, while the true environmental impact is (and will be) muddied. But the Volt may just steal the show when it comes to image.

Honda and Toyota competed fiercely for the hybrid banner a decade ago. Despite the Insight getting better mileage, the Prius has clearly come out on top because the two-seater just wasn't practical for most people to even consider. Will the Volt end up like the Insight?

What's your opinion? Who will come out on top in the next hybrid war?

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jim said...

GM pulles Defeat out of the mouth of victory again. A car that has a 40 mile radias and you have to pay extra for a small eng. extender. all this for 40k? I will take a Prius any day of the week and twice on sunday. GM should just sell off any thing of value and save the money thay will loose in the years to come.

Mike said...

I wonder how expensive a plug-in Prius will be? It will have bigger batteries and different systems to handle it all. The current Prius costs half of what the Volt is going to cost.

Will the plug-in Prius cost as much as the Volt, or will Toyota be able to come to market at a much lower price because they have a decades worth of cost cutting methods in the Prius?

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