• Aug 15, 2007
In order to sell the Chevy Volt for $30,000 or less, General Motors is considering leasing the lithium-ion batteries to customers who buy the car. As AutoblogGreen points out, renting car parts is an innovative strategy to get the Volt to market in time and at the right price. Having a car payment and a battery payment, however, might not be fun for Volt owners. The upside, however, is that GM would presumably warranty the batteries for the life of the lease, easing concerns over what happens to the battery packs if and when they fail.

In a way, GM has used this tactic in the past. Back in the day, the EV1 electric car was only available to lease, not to own. Of course, as most of us know, leasing the EV1s eventually bit GM in the arse when it went to retrieve the cars and encountered significant resistance from owners who had become attached to them. This plan seems to get around that issue, as a Volt owner will actually own his car, just not the batteries. Of course, if GM ever decides to ask for the battery packs back, owners may be left with a giant generator on wheels.

[Source: AutoblogGreen]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't see at all what GM is doing wrong with this. It has to be affordable (to most of us anyways, and not be like a tesla) to be acceptable.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This would spur competition in the battery industry, possibly leading to innovations especially if the price of the volt is low enough that many people buy one. Battery technology is the last hurdle we need for a zero emission car. Once we have a battery that is light, holds a lot of energy, recharges quickly (like filling up your gas tank), environmentally friendly, and doesn't go bad over time the car is finished from a green standpoint. Any energy source could be used to power our cars (solar, hydro, nuclear, etc) and even if we still use coal and natural gas to make the power, these plants are far more efficient (and cheaper) than an internal combustion engine. If the price of one fuel goes up we will still be able to afford our cars, and any environmentally friendly development in power generation would translate to every electric car on the road! Electric cars are the only way of future!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I want this car! Look at all those beers!
        • 7 Years Ago
        And the best part about all that beer is the car can also be powered by methane!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really think GM will fail with this Volt. Too many things against it. Sales will be minimal at best. There will be far better choices to save money and for less money.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I agree - so many if's and's or but's with these Volt stories - that car doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of actually happening.
      • 7 Years Ago
      could it open up a market for a stripped down version without batteries - with the gas engine directly powering the electric drive motors?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Interesting because this might open up a market for "tuner batteries" with more power / longer life and such. If I don't "own" the battery then I'm going shopping for the best price/performance deal if I ever own a Volt.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @ lotusanimals: Hey BMW Mini couldn't get the gas powered cars working properly, I think I'l sit out the Deisel regenerative braking adventure until they have worked the kinks out.
        • 7 Years Ago
        lotusanimals: Because people have different opinions, tastes, and motives than you do.
        • 7 Years Ago
        NO I'm sorry I actually have been on the side lines of the MINI European release of the regenerative braking and you obviously are thinking if GM owned MINI they would be having problems but the systems are Very unique and working like a dream. Sorry guy-I hate that people like you make up stories to feel good but the cars are amazing and the extra gas saved is blowing hybrid systems in the dirt. MINI is on track to have the systems released in the us in a year or so and possibly the diesel. BMW doesn't release systems prematurely without exhaustive testing you should know better .
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm sorry and I truly hope GM has a good next century but why would anybody even bother when you have Mini Coopers coming in just a year or so with diesel motors and regenerative braking. The mini d registers almost 70 mpg and that is with the new measuring system. Mini's are far more superior in quality and technology and super azz fly!!!Sorry people but this is just another one for the history books.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is the work of the evil geniuses and mad scientists locked up in the bowels of GM. No doubt they concocted this plan to make it easier to take back the batteries by revoking the leases. They know people would prefer an EV1 over a Volt HANDS DOWN. No doubt the US oil cartel now owns those EV1 patents. This is also the work of those evil geniuses.
      GM - GenerallyMalevolent
      • 7 Years Ago
      Lets see if all the greenie liberal tree huggers who bitched and moaned and are basically forcing GM to build this, they said they wanted it real bad!, ;ets see if they put there money where there mouth is and buy. I doubt it. They hate America more than they liked the environment (in there mind buying America is simply unimaginable), they might buy the first ones but I doubt they will stick with the model once toyota and their darling prius comes with lithium. Which conincidentally is exactly what most liberals need, more lithium! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I crack myself up.
        • 7 Years Ago
        BigDookie, you don't even make any sense. Tree-huggers won't buy GM cars, but GM will listen to their bitching and build a whole new car just for them???

        actually, the gun toting crowd likes this hybrid too. it was posted here on autoblog yesterday:

        "Gun owners want their other car to be a Chevy Volt"
        (sorry no url)

        way to laugh at your own joke. maybe you need some lithium.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Please take your drunken rant to somewhere else. We don't need your "they hate America" crap here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Think of the aftermarket in batteries.... you finish up your GM battery lease and then order a new set from Jackson Racing or some such thing.

      The battery lease/car own is brilliant. It let's GM get the Volt out the door affordably and let's the market take the battery tech to the next level.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Think of the voided warranty when you try to put an after market battery in it....

        I guarantee GM will void your warranty instantly if something goes wrong and you have an after market battery in it
      • 7 Years Ago
      In some ways this would be innovative, and would work in the consumer's favor assuming better battery technology came out. I think GM is trying to think ahead with regards to changing technolgy, and maybe figure out a way of overcoming consumers fears about replacing the batteries. Think of leasing an engine. What if somebody bought a 2007 X-car. In 2009, a new model came out and the engine has the same power, but double the fuel economy? You'd probably be p*ssed, but wouldn't it be cool if you could just upgrade the engine when the lease ran out rather than trading the whole car, assuming you like the car otherwise?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah Bill i think this is a fairly smart move, especially if it is just an option. Tech in batteries moves so fast, to be able to trade in my lease batteries in 3 years, get lighter more powerful and faster charging batteries and not have to buy a new car, and or fork over thousands$, is wonderful, not to mention resale value would be helped. no fear of buying a used VOLT with bad or nearly bad batteries. I like to own, leasing is stupid, but in this case, if the price is right, this really makes a lot of sense, both for the consumer, and for the manufacturer. I'll lease my batteries if i can get the upgrade in 3 years which will improve my range, performance, handling, and economy.

        but those bean counters at GM best not get stupid with the lease pricing!
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's so nice to read al the positive response to this story. maybe it makes some kind of financial sense to lease the batteries or it might lead to some new battery Renaissance. But being the skeptic that I tend to be, I wonder how many positive responses this story would have gotten if the Mfr. had been BMW, Honda or Ford. I hope Toyota doesn't try to steal GM Battery Leasing thunder by doing the same thing on the current or next Prius. ;}
    • Load More Comments