Three and a half years after introducing the concept Chevy Volt electric car, General Motors is finally answering the question of its price: $41,000 before a federal tax credit.
GM is scheduled to disclose the pricing and tout the 340-mile range of the Chevy Volt on Tuesday at a conference on plug-in vehicles in San Jose, Calif.
The cost of a lease is $350 a month for 36 months with a $2,500 down payment. The Volt, which has an
People on Tuesday will be able to order a Volt from www.getmyvolt.com and be able to track the status of their order as GM starts delivery of the car later this year.
Initially, GM will offer the Volt in seven regions: California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Michigan, and Texas.
The company anticipates that it will sell 10,000 cars in the first year and then make the Volt available nationally and sell 30,000 units in 2012, GM executives said on a conference call on Tuesday. The company hopes that higher volumes will bring down the price in the future, but some of that is already figured in, said Joel Ewanick, GM vice president of U.S. marketing.
"We're pricing very aggressively taking into account some of those factors already," he said. "We think it's a great opening salvo and we'll see what happens over time."
The base model will include a number of high-tech features, such as Bluetooth connectivity, a navigation screen, and five years of GM's OnStar service. There will also be four options, such as a rear camera, a more expensive paint package, and different wheels. If all options are chosen, the cost is $44,600 before the $7,500 tax credit.
When GM first launched the Chevy Volt concept in 2007, there wasn't a lot of competition among major automakers in the electric-vehicle category. But now the battery-electric
Although this is the first time GM has disclosed the suggested retail price, outsiders for some time have anticipated cost of the Volt would be about $40,000.
To stand out from the competition, GM is emphasizing the relative long range of the Volt's design over battery-electric cars, such as the Leaf, said Ewanick.
"Our strategy is (to say) that it's more car than electric," said Ewanick. "This car gives you a 340-mile range, it gives you real peace of mind, which is a big piece of differentiation between us and the competition. This is a car you can drive cross-country and our competition can't do that."
GM also plans to provide coaching to Volt buyers on how to install a higher-voltage charging station in their homes, although the Volt can charge overnight using a standard outlet.
Unlike a traditional hybrid, the Volt is driven entirely by an electric motor, which gives it a
But GM is still not able to say what sort of mileage the Volt will get because the Environmental Protection Agency is still working on a methodology to communicate the fuel economy of electrically driven cars.
GM and other automakers tend to list pricing of their electric vehicles net of the $7,500 federal tax credit. But those tax credits are limited to 200,000 cars per manufacturer, said Ewanick. That's enough for GM to launch back into electrification, he said. In the coming years, the company plans to use the Volt's powertrain, known as Voltec, in other models.
"Two hundred thousand vehicles gets us many years down the road and it gets the electric-vehicle market established," Ewanick said. "It's a good time frame to build awareness."This article appeared originally on CNET