When the Chevy Volt concept first materialized a few years back, there were a lot of questions surrounding America's first mass-market electric car. While answers to most of those questions dribbled out over the last few years, GM remained mum on one critical aspect: price. But today it's official: the Chevy Volt will cost $41,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit, and the cars will arrive in driveways later this year.
Only 600 dealerships in Chevy's "launch markets" – California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan and Washington, D.C. – will start taking orders for the Volt today, thought the first cars won't roll off the lot until November. But that hasn't stopped the GM PR machine from swinging into action, calling this a "historic day." We'll see. The Volt has competition arriving later this year in the form of Nissan's Leaf, a full-blown EV that gets 100 miles to the charge and costs just $25,280 after the tax credit, compared with $33,500 for the Volt.
But Volt has its selling points. Though it only gets 40 miles from a single charge on its 16-kilowatt-hour Li-ion battery, GM boasts that the Volt performs beyond the competition because it contains a gasoline engine that can assist the battery for another 300 miles, arguably a very clutch feature to include on a car that is supposed to bridge the technological gap between the carbon fuels of the present and the all-electric future.
Considering most Americans keep their daily driving under the 40-mile mark, that might not make such a huge difference. The price, however, probably will. Even after the tax credit the Volt is one of Chevy's more expensive offerings, not too far shy of an entry-level luxury car. As the NYT points out today, while there are 52,464 people across the globe signed up for an unofficial waiting list at the non-GM-affiliated gm-volt.com, those people on average are looking to pay about $31, 400 for the car. Hopefully cost won't end up as the Achilles heel of a seemingly good idea.
GM plans to roll 10,000 Volts off its Detroit production lines by the end of next year, with 30,000 following in 2012. For those not interested in buying a car in that time frame, the Volt will lease for $350 per month with $2,500 cash down.
I bet they really tried to get this car to the $39,900 mark. Sure, there's the tax credit ... but that number 4 in the price is daunting.
I'd rather my cash go towards Chevrolet than to oil companies, but that's a bit steep even for new technology.
I like the look, though. They're heading in the right direction.
40 miles per charge? for 40k? I wouldn't buy this if i was rich...
@ScottieD Like they point out in the article, most Americans travel less than 40 miles a day, and it has a max range of around 300 miles if you were to take it road tripping. The Leaf has a max of 100 on the other hand, more than you would use in a day (most likely) but not enough for any significant trips.
The price is definitely steep though..hope it has other features inside that don't drain the battery life/range.
Well for those not reading the entire article this car actually has an unlimited range. All you need to do is pull into a gas station. The energy in the battery has a range of 40 miles and then a generator kicks in for an additional 300 which runs on gasoline. This tech is a great intermediary until a better cheaper battery is put into production. I for one think it’s a great car. For one thing it doesn’t look like the leaf or prius and for many it will decrease their dependence on gasoline but won’t prevent people from going on a car trips with their family or for me OC to Vegas LOL.
@CoolHand032 Yes, 40 miles is sufficient for most American families but it is the nature of fuel cells to suffer charge capacity losses from overvoltage. Unless these fuel cells are extremely resilient to these problems, 40 miles per charge soon becomes 30 miles per charge or lower.
That being said, this IS a step in the right direction though.
Does anyone know an exact date when these will be on sale?
This is why the charging system is design to only charge the batteries to 80% and not allow them to drop below 30%.
I just wish they had stuck with the look of the first concept car. That car was really cool looking, this production version bland.
@sierra836- The volt is a great car.. Really, so you have drove the Volt..? Please elaborate if you have.
hmmm... volt or a camaro? I think i'll stick with a camero.
It is pretty nice looking though.
An ugly expensive car,so, what's the point?
Another pathetic industry attempt at working towards a low carbon future. Incrementally shifting to these platforms instead of just designing the correct car be it fully electric with a decent range and charge time or hydrogen that doesnt cost $1m each.
Riiiigggggghhhhttt tt. Let me sell off part of my house to get an electric car. NOT. KISS MY BOOTY Chevrolet! you haven't gotten a dime of my money in 15 years, you can bet you ain't getting it for another 15.
For only $8k more you can get the infinitely more sexy 100% electric Tesla S or for $8k less you can get the Nissan Leaf. Obviously electric cars are not made for long haul driving but they are perfectly suitable for your average city driver. It seems to be that GM wins is behind the curve in appeal, cost and technology.
ND3G is right in my book, but time will tell. GM is marketing this as a car without a competitor, which is what I wrote about today at www.cargurus.com/blog/2010/07/28/at-41000-volt-enters-cadillac-territory. And that just won't be true for most people.
To those that just cannot think of anything good to say:
This is an Excellent start, The ONLY CURRENT downside
is battery range and price. WHICH WILL lower in future.
The ignorance is unbeleivable. It's like a monkey doing
the same thing over and over no matter what he's told.
Understand the technology people..., it's taking off... !!
And here is where it starts, right now right here with the Volt and Leaf, should i say the Joule is almost due as well!
a beautiful car designed by a Jaguar designer.
Go drive your smoke puffers until oil run dry, i for one will be driving a high end electric machine in the next 10 years.
Awesome times to be in!
Just to clarify so there is no misunderstanding regarding my above post: Electric vehicle prices will lower and battery range will increase. It's a no brainer.
@For only $8k more you can get the infinitely more sexy 100% electric Tesla or 8K less the Nissan leaf.
Both that will leave you SOL if you drive too far and cant find a place to recharge.
That's the point with the Volt you get 40 miles (about 200+ MPG -that's $3.00 gas equivalent cost) or you can go past 40 miles and fill up in the middle of a town with a population of 100 that has a gas station and make it back home. That will get you about a 55mpg+ at that point past your 40 mile charge.
Are people really thinking hard on this one or has the USA really become that stupid in critical thinking?
The volt is an electric car, with the benefits of such, without requiring an entire new infrastructure to support it.
$41,500 ($33,500 after tax credit)for the Volt is way too much...beyond the reach of the ordinary citizen, especially when it has so few parts...compared to a gas-powered car, with thousands of parts.
Hope GM is not planning another EV1-like fiasco. Its good though, that GM is actually going to sell the vehicle, rather than just lease it, like they did with the EV1. GM says they are losing money on the Volt, so why not lose some more and keep the price lower (say around $25K after the tax credit)? If the company suffers a great deal because of that, then of course, the government will bail them out, won't they? LOL.
I agree, the original does look cooler, but it still functions the same,
I have been looking forward to seeing one in real-life though, i probably won't be able to get one for quite some time, but by that time, many people would have "BETA-Tested" it for me :D
It would be to my advantage if this product flies, since I own GMC stock.
However, I am an electrical engineer in another industry and have fears this may be GMC's electrical Edsel.
I hope there is a good long warranty on the Volt's battery, because you are not going to get one at Autozone for $36.
Also, how much is this going to increase your electric bill when you charge the battery in your garage?
I haven't heard any details on this, but it is possible you may have to add another 230 volt service run like your clothes dryer and electric range use in you garage for most efficient charging.
Overall, this vehicle may be fine for a some buyer's situations, but may still be a niche market.
Why not just opt for a hybrid?
Time will tell on how viable the Volt is, but I have my concerns.
Nice car! Will it be on sale in the UK?
We are airport transfers company http://www.henryedward.co.uk We would like to use hybrid cars in future for green reasons.
How much are the batteries if you have to replace them? My guess about 10k. We need to can the gas engine, and drive on solar powered roads that could inductively recharge your full electric at the proper times, to extend the range of the onboard batteries. Besides they shoulda stuck with the concept in the transformer movie, this one is kind of boring. I saw this the first time it came out, wasn't it the 07' Impala?
from the starting of this yea have seen this car in review, car looks good but its really always long way to wait for chevy cars. so finally its gonne launch in this year end. no doubt about the car but price is looks very high as compare to its feature. its should be with in the $27K to $30K.
This is the future. Good cars that emit no pollutants. If we manage to play out of oil tycoons, the world looks different, that is much cleaner. I think it is important to us and our children.<a rel="dofollow" href="http://www.auto-my.com" title="auto dealers online"><img src="http://www.all-auto.ro/img/a%20auto" alt="auto dealers online" vspace="2" border="0" hspace="2"></a>
Consumers in general have expressed two main concerns of owning a car, which is partially or wholly powered by an electric motor: How much can go without recharging, and this is sufficient public charging stations available to recharge the battery as often as necessary (particularly useful for residents of apartment, or when you're on the road to its electric car). Here are some numbers, consumers can expect GM and its dealers. The battery can last 40 miles, while a full tank of fuel could drive another 300 volt km. Driving the Volt would save the owner of 550 gallons of gasoline over 15,000 miles. And has a top speed of 100 km / h