Would You Pay $40,000 for the Chevrolet Volt?

| 5/27/2009 12:48:55 PM

The highly anticipated Chevrolet Volt is getting ever closer to the showroom floor. Whether you think of it as an electric car or a plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid, the Volt represents a significant step forward for mass-produced fuel-efficient cars. 

The Volt is different than other hybrids on the roads today in that it uses electricity as the sole means for powering the car; the gasoline engine works only to recharge the car’s lithium-ion battery pack. GM estimates that the Volt will travel up to 40 miles without using a single drop of gasoline, more than enough to cover the average American’s commute to work. Recharge your Volt while at work and you’d then be able to drive home without burning any gasoline. If recharged via a renewable energy source, the car’s power would be entirely emissions-free. 

You can learn more about the Volt in The Volt: An Electric Car That Could Change Everything and Update: The Chevy Volt, the Electric Car of the Future

Last week, GM vice chairman Bob Lutz appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman to talk about the Volt. Letterman recently purchased a Tesla Roadster, an all-electric car that gets more than 200 miles per charge, and previously said that the Volt’s 40-mile capability was “crap.” (You can watch Lutz and Letterman’s exchange below.) 

When asked why GM couldn’t make a car with performance comparable to the Tesla, Lutz replied that GM needs to sell cars at volume, and thus needs to give the Volt a practical price tag. Lutz then said that when the Volt hit dealerships in late 2010, it would cost about $40,000 (the Tesla sells for more than $100,000). 

But the first 200,000 Volts Chevrolet sells will be eligible for a federal tax credit of $7,500, bringing the final price to about $32,500. 

Randall Robertson_3
6/27/2010 11:48:25 AM

I'm with Altexbird, the entry price is an investment in avoiding fuel usage when I've got my independent home electric company up and running. Charge at home from sources without emissions penalties for the rest of the world. Would I risk, as an early adopter, that technology will drive down battery costs while increasingly their function? Absolutely, pray it is so. I believe we are past "peak oil" and gasoline WILL return to high prices, at which point the early bird will still have wheels rolling.

6/23/2010 8:08:59 PM

What I DON'T like about the VOLT is the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) used to provide the electric charge only (unlike the hybrids that use both the motor and the engine for the drivetrain). Meet the new engine, same as the old engine. An all-fuel generator would make more sense but an ICE means gas, oil and all the filters and parts you are used to buying now. Are you catching on yet? All fuel motors use any kind of fuel and they run at a constant speed to turn a generator. An ICE is used at different RPM because that is how cars were designed once J. Paul Getty got Ford to dump Edison and use the ICE, oh and Getty made a lot of money.

Doug Smith
8/28/2009 11:50:01 AM

Try this one on for size. The government needs you to owe them more, so the government gets its hands into auto companies as "investors", now they can use that to get more money from foreign countries like China!!! Folks we all need to wake the (*&% up and get out of debt and force our government to do the same. One may to do that is to refuse to pay so much for an automobile regardless of what type it is. I like many of you am doing all that I can (without incurring more debt) to reduce my use of fossil fuels. Just think real hard about this: Is it really that important to have that item or are you just trying to be like everyone else (known as Jonsing)? If we all would just cooperate together and say no, then things will change, but we have been so programmed to say yes and I want it now that we cannot see what is really happening to us. There is my $2 (gotta account for inflation) worth.

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