The shockingly boring Chevy Volt

The shockingly boring Chevy Volt

Why do car companies go geeky ugly when designing electric/hybrid cars?

volt1.jpg Take a look at this picture and tell me that the car doesn’t look ‘futuristic’. Futuristic is another word for geeky and in the case of the Chevrolet Volt it represents what boring cars from the future would look like.

I wonder what evil spirit comes over and possess the designers whenever the are told to design a purpose buit hybrid or electric cars. Just look at the hideousness that are the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight and now the Chevrolet Volt.

2007-toyota-prius1.jpg  honda-insight.jpg

What is so wrong with making these cars look cool and desirable on their own?

I mean the Prius is only cool because Hollywood types drive them, if not, the only people who would touch them are bearded people in sandals who think trees make interesting conversation.

Back to Our Volt.


Take one look at the car and one look at other cars that are coming out of General Motors in the next few years and you can see just how different the Volt is. The Volt was intentionally designed to look like they came from a different time, that it would stand out in a  crowd.

That’s a good thing but in doing so, the designers and stylists seem to forget that even in the distant future, people would still like beautiful objects.

chevrolet_volt_concept.jpg  volt-concept-rear.jpg  volt-concept-rear-34.jpg

The production Volt looks like a ToyotaPrius that been given the boot and front end from the original Volt concept show car and the result is totally unsatisfactory. It has some of the elements that we love from the concept car but somehow it doesn’t make us excited.

It’s like almost sneezing. You are keyed up with anticipation for a great release and then it doesn’t happen and you feel your lung collapsing on you.

And the same applies to the interior


Overall the interior does look rather attractive with swooshing dynamic lines and rather neat details but then they slap a huge piece of shiny white plastic on the centre console. What was that all about. Whoever told them that shiny white objects would look good anywhere outside a toilet?


The white plastic gives the centre console a certain immaturity rather than youthfulness but I think that’s the worst thing I can say about the interior.


The good news is that of the three cars, Prius, Insight and Volt, the Volt is the best looking but that’s not saying much.

For real inspiration in the electric car business, you have to look at Fisker or Tesla


If you look at the Tesla Roadster, all you see is a gorgeous little sportscar, it doesn’t shout ‘electric’. The only clue for the eagle eyed is the slightly cleaner than normal detailing but you can conceivably attribute that to chance.

After all some car companies do not like ostentatious detailing even on their normal sportscars.


Then there is the painfully stunning Fisker Karma hybrid premium sedan.

This could easily be a Maserati or Jaguar or anything on four wheels that is gorgeous.

Henrik Fisker, the designer who gave us the modern Aston Martin DB series, understands that even people who buy electric cars want their cars to look gorgeous.

This is how you make electric cars stand out in a crowd. This is how you reward your customers for being environmentally friendly, this is how you pay them back for buying a car that is more expensive than normal.

My wish is to never see another ‘futuristic’ looking electric or hybrid cars… enough is enough


  1. i like this chevy volt very much.can some one incharged please send me some catalouge and spec detail.when is thid model of chevy going to be in m’sia?please let me be informed once it is in m’sia.thankyou.

  2. what is the price for this chevy volt selling in m’sia?what is the consumtion of fuel looks like?diesel or petrol,electic or other gases?thankyou.

  3. “For real inspiration in the electric car business, you have to look at Fisker or Tesla”

    Hey, the Volt is already good looking what. Are you too mad about sport cars design that you condemned practical car for the masses?

  4. Futuristic is another word for geeky? Man, you are one clueless individual. Futuristic is always a good thing.

    Just because hybrid cars don’t look like overpowered sports cars that make loud noises does not in any way mean they look bad.

    That’s a big part of the picture. Our taste in anything but American car designs. In the future, you don’t expect to see the same designs. Designs change. People change.

    And just a little FYI, the Volt doesn’t look ugly. It’s not as exciting as the concept, but then again, that never is the case.

  5. The reason that we need electric cars is going to come as a surprise to you. There is only 40 years of oil left, that is the optimistic report. We imported 460 billion dollars worth of oil last year 2/3 of the national debt. If terrorist get a dirty bomb they may just set it off in an important oil producing area. Most of the worlds oil is controlled by dictators. If we don’t need OPEC oil we don’t have to fight and die in the Mideast anymore. Global warming is out there and cars use most of the oil; 85% of an ICE (internal combustion engine) is wasted in heat, an electric car uses 85% of the energy it stores. Oil at $150 dollars a barrel becomes a situation for military action we were 3 dollars away last July. None of this is an exaggeration and you can see all of the proof at my website.

  6. I agree the Toyota and Honda are butt-ugly, but the Volt is actually quite good looking. If the car proves to live up to the manufacturer’s mileage claim, I think it has the potential to become a success.

  7. Completely disagree. Very good looking vehicle. While it may not be quite as good looking as the Telsa or Fisker, it does provide very good value in looks for the price.

  8. Wow! Are these really the pictures? That car looks hot! Not “electric” or “hybrid” looking at all. And neither is the Cadillac Converj. It’s definitely the joule of GM.

  9. I agree. The Fisker and Tesla are good looking vehicles. Even the original Volt concept was. The new one says to me: boring. Can’t we have I electric/hybrid that actually looks sporty. None of these production models say sporty to me. And sporty is absolutely necessary if they are going to counter the general assumption that electric/hybrids are low-performance. I want high-performance styling!

  10. Wait until you see it drive by. It has an impressive stance and a professional aggression. The new Prius looks like the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe (although not as fuel efficient) compared to the Chevy Volt.

    Seriously though, lots of credit to all the successful hybrid passenger cars (Prius and Insight), but the Volt is a game changer. When it drives by, you won’t notice the looks before you notice the lack of sound (if it’s in EV range). Just knowing that thing can go from A to B with no engine will make Prius owners “green” with envy.

    It’s basically an iPhone so big they had to put a powertrain App on it.

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