Chevy Volt price almost reasonable with electric car tax credit

The Chevy Volt, shown with the plug-in power adaptor

The Chevy Volt price announcement was widely anticipated. JMRosenfeld/Flicker photo.

You can buy a Chevy Volt electric car when it begins production at the end of this year for $41,000. The price of the Chevy Volt is more than the new Nissan Leaf. But Chevrolet said the Volt’s greater range gives it an advantage. And a federal electric car tax credit of $7,500 for electric vehicles brings the Volt’s price down to a more reasonable $33,500. Plus, Volt drivers can opt for a three-year lease at $350 a month after a $2,500 down payment.

Is the Chevy Volt priced to be popular?

The price announcements for the Volt and its electric car rival, the Nissan Leaf, have been highly anticipated. The Washington Post reports that one of the main obstacles to producing affordable electric cars for the mass market has been the cost of making the large, heavy batteries needed to get them down the road. The White House administration has committed billions of dollars to develop electric cars and batteries. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama pledged to put 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015. Whether he succeeds could depend on whether the Leaf and the Volt are priced low enough with the help of the electric car tax credit to rapidly achieve popularity.

Chevy Volt outruns Nissan Leaf

Powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, the Volt can travel up to 40 miles on purely electric power. The Nissan Leaf has a range of 70-120 miles before it needs to be parked and plugged in. For driving beyond 40 miles, the Volt’s four-cylinder gasoline engine generates the electricity to power the engine for a total range of about 300 miles without a charge. CNNMoney.com reports that GM recently announced it will guarantee the Volt’s lithium ion battery for eight years or 100,000 miles to put customers at ease about the enormous cost of replacing the Chevy Volt’s battery, which weighs about 400 pounds and will cost thousands of dollars to replace.

“No other automaker offers an electrically driven vehicle that can be your everyday driver, to take you wherever, whenever.”
Joel Ewanick, vice president of U.S. marketing for General Motors

Chevy Volt plugs into the wall socket

Starting later this fall, the Chevy Volt will only be sold in California, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington, D.C., area. The Los Angeles Times reports that these are regions of the country where there is a growing power charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, as well as where local and state governments provide extra incentives for electric vehicle purchases. The Volt comes with a kit that will allow drivers to plug the car into a standard electric socket, where it will charge in about 10 hours. Owners who upgrade to 240 volts could charge the Volt in four hours.

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