It was billed as the beginning of an automotive revolution, a vehicle that motorists could use for their typical daily commute without using a drop of fuel, but which would also avoid the severe range restrictions of a pure battery-electric vehicle, or BEV.
The launch of the Chevrolet Volt "extended-range electric vehicle" in late 2010 generated plenty of headlines and an initial surge in sales. But, despite addressing some of the original car's problems and extending its range by nearly 50 percent in 2015, sales tumbled by more than 25 percent over the past two years. And, last week, General Motors quietly pulled the plug on the Volt, ending its production run at one of the three North American assembly plants it plans to shutter this year.
"The vehicle died because it wasn't selling well, obviously," said George Peterson, head of consulting firm AutoPacific. "The number of people willing to spend extra money" for a vehicle like the Volt "just isn't that huge anymore."