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Volt price at $41,000, Chevrolet says

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Volt price at $41,000, Chevrolet says

BY GREG GARDNER

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Chevrolet's $350-a-month, three-year lease on the long-awaited Volt -- which starts at $41,000 before a maximum $7,500 federal tax credit -- is $1 more than Nissan's monthly lease on all-electric Leaf. The Volt lease requires a $2,500 down payment vs. $1,999 for the Leaf. The lease price could send demand surging, but GM plans to build just 10,000 Volts from November through the end of 2011.

"These two cars signal the beginning of a revolution," said Dan Sperling, a University of California Davis professor.

Although Toyota Prius drivers boast of getting 50 miles per gallon of gas, the Volt and Leaf will use overnight charging to slash drivers' fuel costs to as low as 2 cents a mile, compared with 7 to 13 cents a mile in a conventional gas-only vehicle.

Lease offer to start at $350

Chevrolet priced its Volt only a little above the first generation of gasoline-electric hybrids.

The all-electric Nissan Leaf car, which is to go on sale in November for $32,780, can be leased for $349 a month for 36 months with $1,999 down. Volt's lease offer is to start at $350 a month for 36 months with $2,500 down.

Relative to the first-generation gas-electric hybrids that need no recharging, the Volt is a little higher. The Ford Fusion hybrid starts at $28,675. The Toyota Prius ranges from $22,000 to $28,070, while the Honda Insight is priced from $20,550 to $23,850.

"It's a pretty bold move," said John O'Dell, senior editor of GreenCarAdvisor.com "They will not talk about how much they're subsidizing the Volt."

As with other alternative-fuel vehicles, the initial costs exceed what consumers are willing to pay. Still, there's a value to getting the new high-tech cars into showrooms and on the road, where they might attract buyers of other GM products and boost GM's green image.

Unlike the Leaf, the Volt offers the security of a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine to provide up to 300 more miles beyond the 40-mile battery range.

"It's more car than electric," said Joel Ewanick, GM vice president for North American marketing. "We are an extended-range electric vehicle. We are on our own in this segment."

Few cars have ever faced the expectations of the Volt. Five years in the making, the car has outlasted several executive teams and survived General Motors' historic bankruptcy restructuring.

Now that Chevrolet has set the price, the next challenge will be to prevent long delays if orders exceed the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant's production of 40,000 through the end of 2012.

"There will be a period when we will have a hard time meeting that demand," Ewanick said.

Chevrolet will initially sell the Volt through 600 dealers in Michigan, California, New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, and Austin, Texas.

Scott LaRiche, executive manager of Lou LaRiche Chevrolet in Plymouth, said five customers put down deposits at his showroom.

"The Ann Arbor clientele is what everyone seems to be aiming for, and we're in a good location," LaRiche said.

Unlike gasoline-electric hybrids such as the Prius, Ford Escape and Fusion hybrids, or the Honda Insight, which rely on both batteries and internal combustion engines, Volt drivers will be able to make short trips, up to a range of 40 miles, solely on battery power. After 40 miles, the 1.4-liter gas generator kicks in and provides about 300 more miles before the battery must be recharged.

A 120-volt charge cord is standard. The first 4,400 buyers are eligible to have a 240-volt charging station installed at their home for free.

"The whole thing is still a great experiment," said Aaron Bragman, an auto analyst with HIS Automotive. The Volt is "about $8,000 more expensive than the Leaf, but unlike with Leaf you will not need to buy a second car with the Volt."

link:

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100728/BUSINESS01/7280383/1331/Volt-price-at-41000-Chevrolet-says&template=fullarticle

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Chevy Volt priced at $41,000 minus $7,500 tax credit

By Sharon Silke Carty, USA TODAY

DETROIT — General Motors announced pricing on the Chevy Volt that could make it the winner in the electric car/hybrid car marketplace.

The Volt will have a base-model sticker price of $41,000. That sounds pricey until a $7,500 federal tax credit is applied. That brings the price in line with a fully loaded Toyota Prius.

The Volt, due to go on sale in December, is one of the most anticipated cars ever. It is GM's first attempt at an electric car, and it has an auxiliary gasoline engine to recharge the batteries after they run out of juice.

Unlike a pure electric, such as the Nissan Leaf, the Volt has no range limitations.

"The Volt is a much more usable vehicle" than the Nissan Leaf, says Aaron Bragman, an analyst at IHS Automotive. "It's clearly the winner."

Both automakers are trying to reach a mass audience. Nissan said Tuesday that it's making the Leaf available through Enterprise Rent-A-Car in January, giving people the opportunity to take it for longer test drives.

A fully loaded Volt will go for $44,600. Nissan has priced the Leaf at $32,780, making the Volt substantially more expensive but also more capable.

GM started taking orders Tuesday at its website, www.getmyvolt.com. California will be the first state to get the Volt.

"This is one of the most important days we've seen in a long time for General Motors," said Joel Ewanick, vice president of U.S. marketing for General Motors, who made the announcement at the Plug-In 2010 conference in San Jose. "It's been 1,297 days since the introduction of the Volt concept car, and every day since we've been asked a single question: 'How much is it going to cost?' "

Ewanick says GM is packing even the base Volt full of premium content, including OnStar and the ability to connect with your car via a smartphone app. Leather seats and a rearview camera will cost extra.

Many customers will qualify for a $7,500 rebate off their federal taxes for buying the vehicle, which will go 40 miles on battery power alone and then use gas to power an electric generator for another 300 miles.

The best deal may be a cut-rate lease. People who would prefer leasing can get the electric-powered car for $350 a month on a 36-month lease, with a $2,500 down payment.

Ewanick says GM will tout the lease price most often in ads.

Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends for TrueCar, says the average lease price in the U.S. is nearly $500 a month. The average car loan cost is $450 a month. GM was able to offer such a low lease price because the finance company will be eligible to take the government's $7,500 rebate.

The low monthly cost will make the car appealing to a wider group of customers, Toprak says.

"Even if you're not an early adopter, or saving the environment is not first on your list of priorities, this lease payment is so attractive it starts to make sense from a purely financial perspective," Toprak says.

Over the first 18 months, the car will initially be available to Chevrolet customers in California, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington, D.C., area. A nationwide rollout will start later.

link:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2010-07-28-volt28_ST_N.htm

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Chev Volt plugged in for as little as $37k

Price set: Chevrolet's plug-in Volt will go on sale for $US41,000, but that price can be cut by up to $7500 with federal tax breaks.

What is green?

Sharp price and lease deals announced for GM’s Volt – helped by big tax breaks

28 July 2010

By RON HAMMERTON

AMERICANS will be able to get behind the wheel of a petrol-electric Chevrolet Volt for as little as $US33,500 ($A37,174), thanks to a combination of sharp pricing announced by General Motors overnight and generous US government tax breaks of up to $US7500 ($A8323).

Alternatively, they could choose to lease a Volt from $US350 ($A388) a month over 36 months when the so-called range-extender hybrid car goes on sale in a limited number of US states later this year before a wider roll-out that will include Australia in 2012.

But Australian motorists should not get their hopes up for similar pricing when the Volt arrives under Holden badges, as import costs – including a five per cent import tariff – and a lack of federal government incentives could force the price into the prestige car bracket.

Australian motor manufacturers and importers have lobbied the federal government for green car incentives similar to those offered in the US, Japan, Europe and elsewhere, but so far to no avail.

Holden’s senior product communications manager Jonathan Rose told GoAuto that Holden was not ready to discuss pricing of Volt.

“We will outline the complete offering for Australian Volt customers, including pricing and warranty details, closer to the time of our local launch in 2012,” he said.

Mitsubishi has announced that its i-MiEV electric city car will be leased to Australian customers for $1740 a month over three years, equating to $62,640.

Left: GM vice president Joel Ewanick with the Volt.

The base American price for the Volt will be $US41,000 ($A45,497), including taxes and shipping costs. Depending on their financial circumstances, buyers could then qualify for tax breaks of between $0 and $7500 on their purchase.

They might also qualify for further state and local incentives, making the option even more attractive.

The big issue is going to be supply, as GM already has a long queue of early adopters wanting the comparatively meagre supply of vehicles. Earlier this month, GM announced it would build just 10,000 units at its Hamtramck plant in Detroit in 2011, rising to 30,000 in 2012.

That buyer queue is only set to grow, with GM opening a special website for potential customers to lodge their order with dealers in areas when the Volt will make its sales debut – California, New York, Connecticut, Michigan, Washington DC and Texas.

The $41,000 base price for Volt compares with $US32,780 ($A36,384) for the all-electric Nissan Leaf that will also hit US showrooms in some states late this year in a staggered roll-out across America and global markets.

Nissan’s Leaf is also expected to arrive in Australia in 2012.

Although GM’s plug-in Volt has an $8200 price penalty over Leaf, GM has already started pitching the range-extender advantages of its petrol-electric drivetrain that it says offers a range of about 550km on a combination of battery and petrol power compared with Leaf’s 160km on its lithium-ion batteries alone.

General Motors vice president of US marketing Joel Ewanick said the Chevrolet Volt would be the best vehicle in its class because it’s in a class by itself.

“No other automaker offers an electrically driven vehicle that can be your everyday driver, to take you wherever, whenever,” he said.

“The Volt will be packed with premium content and innovation, standard.”

Among the Volt’s benefits outlined at the Plug-in 2010 conference in the US last night are five years of OnStar satellite direction and internet connection service via a mobile phone app and an eight-year/160,000km battery pack warranty.

The OnStar service includes automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance and connected navigation.

The first 4400 Volt buyers will be eligible for a 240-volt home charging station courtesy of the US department of energy. This helps to reduce charging time over the conventional 120-volt plug-in system standard with Volt.

The Volt travels up to the first 64km on its 16kWh lithium-ion battery before the petrol engine kicks in to generate electricity to travel a further 482km on a full tank.

Standard features include ESC, eight air bags – dual-stage frontal, side-impact, knee, and roof-rail side-impact – and a Bose premium sound system.

link:

http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/3F4756F623077219CA25776E000AF01F

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