Volt Sticker Shock: Supercharged Prices for Chevy's Plug-In Hybrid

: The new Chevrolet 'Volt' electric car that will go on the market within the next two months, at the Orange County Auto Show in Anaheim on October 7, 2010. The 'Volt' is an electric car that can travel up to 50 miles on one overnight charge before switching to the gas generator which extends it's range to hundreds of miles from one tank of gas. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

If you're in the market for a Chevy Volt, part of the plug-in hybrid's appeal is probably the gas money that its electric engine will save you. But if you're planning to plug one into the outlet in your garage anytime soon, you may be in for a shock -- sticker shock, that is -- at what's being charged for this rechargeable car.

The manufacturer's suggested retail price for the Volt starts at $40,280, but with the revolutionary vehicle in short supply and high demand, some Chevrolet dealers are marking the Volt's price up, way up, from its MSRP.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, Moises Paiewonsky, a 29-year-old assistant music professor from Tucson, flew cross-country to New York -- one of only a half-dozen states plus the District of Columbia where the car is currently available -- to plunk down $50,000 for his Volt, about $6,000 more than his particular model's sticker price.

"It's a very special piece of technology," he explained to the newspaper. "I think it's the way of the future..."

And Assistant Professor Paiewonsky isn't alone in paying a special price for the "special piece of technology." According to Ward's Auto, a number of Volt's are popping up on eBay with similar price hikes: Camino Real Chevrolet in California is asking $47,700 -- $4,000 over MSRP -- for a "Cyber Gray" model and Tennyson Chevrolet in Michigan wants $47,500 -- more than $2,500 over MSRP -- for a "Virdian Joule" Volt.

"We get people coming in just to look at the car," General Manager Dominick Wieczorek told the website of the one Volt his dealership was allotted.

The Volt, which was launched last November, is currently only available in California, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas and the District of Columbia, but General Motors says its automotive wonder will become widely available nationwide by the end of the year.

Now keep in mind, no matter when you buy a Volt, your final cost will be off-set by the $7,500 tax credit that you'll get from Uncle Sam for reducing your emissions. And no matter how much you pay for one, don't worry, you won't have paid the steepest price. That distinction belongs to Rick Hendrick, a car collector and owner of a chain of auto dealerships, who paid a whopping $225,000 for the honor of owning the very first Volt offered up for public sale.

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Carter Yang is a Washington-based producer for the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. He covers aviation, transportation, and homeland security.

  • Carter Yang

    Carter Yang is a Washington, D.C.-based producer for the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. He covers aviation and transportation.

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