Is the Chevy Volt a Great Car Which Happens to be Green?

Tomorrow afternoon, I’ve got an adventure planned. Well, that’s a stretch. Let’s say a distraction.

Geoff Livingston, who’s a communications pro here in D.C., has invited me and Washington Business Journal reporter Jen Conner, to join him in a test drive of the Chevy Volt, GM’s long awaited electric car. Geoff mentioned over lunch the other day that he was asked by GM to blog about the test drive and I asked if I could tag along. (I’m going to film Geoff and Jen on my flip camera as we tool around Washington inhaling that new car smell.)

I don’t know where we’ll go — that’s up to Geoff — but I am interested in visiting  one of these charging stations announced by Pepco today.)

Geoff’s idea for blogging about his test drive experience was to crowdsource it. Over the last several days, he’s reached out to friends on his blog, Facebook and Twitter to find out what people want to know about the car. Look for Geoff’s take on the Volt (and my flip camerawork) later this week on the Live Earth Blog.

Geoff is one of several bloggers and writers in the D.C. area who’ve been invited to try out the Chevy Volt. I think this is a very smart tactic on GM’s part. The more people they can get to try the car, the more people they will get to buy the car.

Increasingly, consumers want to buy green products, but they don’t want to sacrifice technology or pay more if they do buy green. Put differently, for GM and any U.S. automaker, it’s not enough just to make a green car; to be successful, they have to make a great car which happens to be green.

At Sprint, we took that approach with the launch of the Samsung Reclaim, our signature green cell phone. While another U.S. wireless carrier had introduced a green phone first, to be honest, the critics panned it. We took a different approach and packed as much technology as we could into the phone, plus we substantially discounted it. (The initial sales price was $50.)

We didn’t think that consumers should have to sacrifice wireless technology just because they wanted to use a greener more sustainable cell phone. This turned out to be a great move for us and one which has been embraced by consumers — the Reclaim is one of our best-selling phones.

I’ll let you know what our experience with the Volt is like tomorrow. I’m rooting for this car, but we’ll have to see. (I’m not a GM fan as of late.)


Update: I was going to write a second post which shared my impressions, but Geoff Livingston did that while I was out of town. Check out his post and the video I shot during our test drive for our collective impressions. In short, the Volt was a pleasant surprise. I am not sure what the car will be priced at, but if it’s priced appropriately — under 30K, I’d be interested.


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