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Chevy Volt priced at $41,000

"NEW YORK ( – General Motors announced the final price of its Chevrolet Volt electric car Tuesday afternoon, but it’s the lease rate that will probably be most interesting to consumers.

"The purchase price for a Volt will start at $41,000. The vehicle qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit, for an effective price of about $33,500.

“GM will lease the Volt for about $350 a month for 36 months with $2,500 due at signing. The price includes 5 years of GM’s OnStar service…”

Read the rest of the article here: http://mon…htm?hpt=T2

I don’t know about you, but I am disappointed the price is so high. I was hoping this would be more than just a niche item.

I agree that seems way too high for a glorified econobox, but perhaps in comparison to a full-on electric car, it is competitive.

After all, the Nissan Leaf has “up to 100 mile range,” which the skeptic in me assumes is under ideal conditions, without use of heater, a/c, etc. This basically requires the buyer to keep a “standby IC car.”

Seeing as the Volt and the Leaf are designed to the same lease rate, but the Volt obviates the need for a backup IC auto, the Volt seems competitively priced relative to the Leaf.

It’s always expensive to be on the bleeding edge. Pick any technology. When first introduced, it was cost prohibitive to all but the most financially sound or fanatical buyers. Over time, as production volumes increase, the cost will come down to a point where those of us who like to ride the backside of the wave are hanging out…

I didn’t think this was new technology. How are the Volt’s batteries any different from the batteries used in a Honda Insight made in 1999? How is the generator that charges the batteries any different than the ones used in commercial trucks and RVs and sold at hardware stores?

In practice, I this may not have a typical hybrid engine, but in principle, this thing is just a plug-in hybrid, isn’t it?

If I really wanted a Volt, I think I would alternatively look into getting a Prius or a new Honda Insight and adding a kit to make it a plug-in hybrid. It would probably be cheaper.

This is not a price that people will be willing to pay for this vehicle, excepting of couse a few rich hollywood types.

Perhaps those billions of dollars flushed away in Cash For Clunkers would have been better spent subsidizing this project…

The key to it is the batteries. It’s thus far been impossible to have an adequate power to weight ratio on a plug-in hybrid to give acceptable range in electric-only mode. The plug-in kits are definitely not cheaper (if you include the cost of a new Prius) and they do not live up to their claimed electric-only ranges and performance.

Something to think about is that the Prius initially sold for 20k, but they estimated it cost 32k to make. So Toyota sold them at a loss for several model years before the cost to build them came down, but they definitely reaped the benefits of having taken that loss by ending up in a very strong position for a new part of the market.

I’m not sure if the 41k price tag will doom the Volt to low production numbers or not (especially if the tax credit thing is true). Even at their subsidized price, Priuses were (and remain) very expensive for the economy cars they are, but there’s enough people who bought them for the gadget factor, the green image factor, or (like taxi fleets) because they actually would benefit from the fuel savings. And, realistically, the whole project is just about improving GM’s image, so I don’t know if there’s a minimum threshold for accomplishing that or not.

I’m not disappointed. Auto companies are what they are; profit makers beholding to their share holders. ICE powered cars yield big returns in service profits and can be sold for marginal profits because of this. The same way satillite dish antennas are “given” away to reap the monthly profits from programing costs. The EV requires so little maintenance, car companies need up front profit from you. me and the govt.

The number of wearable moving parts for an EV is minimal compared to a gas car. The Volt is a true EV with a basic range extender engine with the demands of a generator motor. WHY WOULDN’T IT BE CHEAP TO OWN AND MAINTAIN for a long time.

The technology is so simple, it’s laughable so many are taken in by the fact it could not have been done years ago except for politics and profit margin.

The EV is still a long time away practically if you’re depending upon GM, Ford or other major auto companies to supply them cheaply. There are just too many wage earners depending upon the gas hogs.

BTW, Whitey’s right about Toyota just waiting and to dole out plug in Prius with better range for half the price. Toyota has had them on the shelves for years, just waiting for the competition to prompt their release.

The consumer is being played like a fiddle…The best buy is still a Corolla like car for multi-use for the next ten years. It will still be the cheapest to own and operate. Toyota/GM/Ford et al. will see to that.

The Market says these cars are going nowhere…The companies that make the batteries should be enjoying a spectacular run-up in stock price…Alas, they are not. 10,000 Volts the first year?? Ford sells 10,000 F-150’s a month for much less than $41,000…


Mostly because batteries don’t last forever. Lead acid batteries are good for about 500 cycles if discharged around 60 percent, much less if you cycle them deeper.
Lithium iron phosphate cells are said to last maybe a couple of thousand cycles but are expensive.
There’s a conspiracy theory for nearly everything under the sun and I take them all with a heaping teaspoon of salt. When or if we develop a really good high capacity battery that is durable and doesn’t cost a small fortune, we WILL see electric cars everywhere and Detroit won’t be able to stop it anymore than the makers of steam engines were able to stop everyone from going to gas engines.

The Volt would sell for a lot less if it could be offered “batteries not included”.

Don’t forget, an electric car still has brakes that need inspecting or repairing, CV boots that need to be inspected or replaced, tires that need to be rotated and wheels that need to be aligned, heaters and AC will still quit working, etc. Of the thousands of dollars that went into my wife’s Honda Element so far, none of it has been to ICE repairs. Right now, it’s in the shop because the window in one door won’t go up, certainly wouldn’t have happened if it were an EV, right?

I understand that the reason the Prius has such long battery life is because the car is designed to never completely discharge or completely charge the nickel metal hydride main battery. Convert it to a plug in hybrid and deep cycle that battery and I bet the warranty is void.

$41 grand for a car that might be able to go 100 miles, and probably could fit in the trunk of a Cadillac? That’s more than I’ve paid for ALL of the cars I’ve ever owned, combined! I’ll give GM credit for trying, and eventually, electric cars will be commonplace, but for now I’ll leave it to the enviro-nuts to pay through the nose for a Volt. Good luck to them.

That sounds good, but with a true EV and regenerative braking, you can eliminate maintenance costs for braking dramatically less then that of an ICE vehicle. You’re forgetting oil changes, transmission and exhaust and cooling systems systems are the big money makers my friend.
ALL hybrids show a dramatic decrease in service costs and increase in reliability.
Please…take a minute and count the moving parts in a transmission and ICE powered vehicle. The Volt is a legit EV as are series hybrids with range extender engines of much lower cost to manufacture (limited RPM range requirements) and maintain. A Volt may need an oil change once every 100K miles and minimal brake service for the life of the car. Rotate the tires and what else for routine maintenance ?
You and others are the victims of the GM,Ford, Toyota driven conspiracy theories.

Give GM credit for merchandising and riding the Volt pony for advertising purposes only.

Oh, but it is new technology. Some examples have already been pointed out. Imagine the engineering effort that went into the power management controller for example (Hardware, Firmware, Reliability Testing to name a few disciplines involved). And that device charging the batteries may be based on existing technology but do you think the packaging had to change to shoe-horn it into the Volt as compared to an RV? Do you think there are no technological hurdles to doing so? What about all the verification exercises required to confirm is ready for production? Think about the tooling and component costs associated with low volume production of new parts (body panels, dash parts etc). All those Non-Recurring Engineering costs must be recouped and guess who pays them on new products where the costs cannot be assumed to be amortized over a long term and high volume production run? The early adopters.

This isn’t a 2012 Corolla with a historical customer demand schedule they can leverage suppliers for long term purchasing contracts. This may flop and who’s left holding the bag? Those parts are going to be relatively expensive in the early production years and the company is going to want to be in the black fairly quickly.

The kit to modify a Prius is almost as much money as the original investment in the car and as pointed out, you still have old battery technology to consider…

$33,500 is definitely too much for me but I’m willing to bet there will be a waiting list to buy one.

My buddy Glenn Beck took the Volt to task today at the benifit of the Leaf, many of the details provided here were omitted by Beck.

I don’t see why. He’s on that “fair and balanced” news channel after all :stuck_out_tongue:

I think the price is high to discourage buyers and encourage lessors. It’s less risky for GM to lease the car. If there is a big problem that effects a large number of them, GM can take them back and provide replacement vehicles more easily than if they have to buy them back. The low production level is also to reduce the risk.

Yes, given the uncertainty re: the (expensive) battery pack, this is one instance where I’d definitely lease and let GM deal with the uncertainty.

Does anyone know the direct operating costs of such a vehicle? (It would helpful to miles per kWh.) Then one could see the annual number of miles necessary to provide a reasonable Return on Investment.