• May 26th 2008 at 2:33PM
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GM is working hard to produce a game-changing electric vehicle for the masses, but the General's precarious cash flow situation, coupled with the high cost of development, is conspiring to the push Volt's retail price to around $40K at launch. In an effort to mitigate this particular issue, GM is lobbying Congress to bring tax breaks to Volt buyers, and company insiders say the breaks could be on the order of $7,000 per vehicle. GM is also working to insert the words "extended-range electric vehicles" in any legislation, to make sure any other vehicle with the Volt's capabilities can reap the same benefits.

Insiders at the General told Automotive News that the Volt program is still on pace for November 2010 production, and that company engineers are gaining confidence in the car's lithium-ion technology every day. If GM can follow through with its lofty technology promises (while getting Uncle Sam to pony up some pretty hefty tax incentives), the Volt should be the hit Bob Lutz dreams about at night.

[Source: Automotove News (subs req'd)]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      'GM is also working to insert the words "extended-range electric vehicles"'
      The Volt will reportedly do 40 MPC (miles per charge). What's so extended about that?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Actually, it's "range-extended electric vehicles".

        Electric vehicles only go 150-220 miles, this is an impediment to their adoption. This vehicle has a range more like a regular gas car (because it is a gas car) and like a gas car, can be refilled quickly and driven some more.

        That's where the "range-extended" comes from. It's supposed to allay the consumer fears that you are buying a car that is less capable than what you're used to.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As I recall the original engineering estimate of the cost of the EVolt was aimed at $30K. Then Bob Lutz did not allow the engineers extra time to bring about production cost savings, as he insisted on NOT slipping on the 2010 launch date. Thus the estimated price of this vehicle has moved to $40K at launch. In short the initial run of the car will be more like a speciality car than the usual full fledged production line. Ergo cost savings and larger production runs culd bring down the price of the car considerably by say 2012 (my guess).
      Overall GM need this vehicle to headline the significant changes GM is actually making and the head their expanding line up of hybrid cars in 2010. I think that making a short term tax break is a resonable request. Except that if it is a tax break deduction on earned income (at the highest range one pays) then the MOST savings will be made by the highest earning buyers of this car. It seems a pity the tax break cannot be swayed to those who need it the most.

      All in all I congratulate GM on their efforts with this new car and other hybrids they are bringing out.
      Also if you want America to reduce on oil usage this kind of hybrid is far prefereable to using the diesel engine. Why? Because a barrel of crude oil produces far LESS diesel fuel than regular gasoline. Thus using gasoline and electricty is a better solution to reducing dependecy on oil quickly.
      • 7 Years Ago
      We all should also consider that Toyota also has the benefit of selling the Prius in it's home market, where there is little or no foreign competition due to protectionist trade policies.

      This pushes up the prices and profits of the car in Japan and allows it to be sold cheaper here.

      That sounds like a subsidy to me.

      • 7 Years Ago
      When plasma TV's first came out, they were over $10k, but got cheaper (and larger) after a few years. Let's hope that LiIon batteries get cheaper real quick.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What an oxymoron the Volt is. First the government is asked to give a tax brake for a car that runs for the most part without gas. Then the Fed and State loose out on collecting gasoline taxes. Then again they loose taxes because the oil companies sell less gas. So tell me, why should the government support this car at all?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Our Government needs to invest in Electricity, Clean Wind, Solar and Wave power, Batteries technology has made leaps n bounds and continue to do so, Id like to be driving a Battery powered car by 2015 then the Oil companies can keep their precious oil.
      I don't think our Government should help the oil companies at all, We should Invest in cheap endless natural power, to power the USA well into the future.
      One day the Oil wells will run DRY...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Tax breaks will eventually be phased out once economies of scale are created and the costs are reduced (e.g. tax breaks for hybrid electrics). If you can't imagine why it's in the governments interest (i.e. the American people's interest) to reduce our dependency on oil, you're not smart enough to be of much concern. As for the likely success of the Volt: I've never believed it would actually materialize, and if it is in the $45,000 range, I won't see many even if it does.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Where's my $5000 tax break for walkign to work?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think tax breaks for new technology that will help reduce our need for foreign oil and lessen the automobile's impact on the environment is a very good thing. Lets not forget that the auto industry is being regulated by the government so much in the first place. Safety and CAFE cost each automaker billions of dollars, and the bottom line is that it makes cars safer and cleaner for you and I. Our government has to work hard to reward automakers for advancing technology while also rewarding customers for taking the leap and buying something totally new.

      Also, If gas averages $6 per gallon between 2011 and 2016 (a real possibility) and the Volt gets 150 mpg on average, it'll cost you $480 a year in petrolium to drive 12,000 miles per year. If you drive a 30mpg Focus, it'll cost you $2,400. Over 5 years, you would save about $10,000, which isn't bad, either. I know energy prices have to be averaged in, too, but those costs are currently 1/6 the price of gasoline, and we can get electricity from wind, solar, nuclear, hydro/etc. it doesn't come from the Gulf in most cases.

      If our gov't is going to spend billions rescuing financial institutions and propping up oil's big profits, I think a little money going toward a better vehicle is more than ok.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Gm will probably lease it. then after a few years when lease up or if they buy out Tesla, they'll crush them.

      When Prius came out originally, I heard that toyota was eating $10,000 per car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Give them a break please. GM is trying to bring the first ever general purpose electric to the mass market. We subsidize all sorts of technology research for the public benefit as in the research grants to universities for example. Helping auto makers to push their first electric vehicles is not much different from that. Though, giving a tax break to people who can afford a $40,000 does not seem very tenable politically.
        • 7 Years Ago
        GM is already sucking at the teat of tax breaks, what do you think their full line up of pretend hybrids are for?
        • 7 Years Ago
        This isn't an electric vehicle, it's a plug-in hybrid. It cannot be considered a general-purpose electric vehicle.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Better build some power plants or require solar panels to photo-voltaics...
        • 7 Years Ago
        tenl- yes I thinkthat is great too. Or adapt the Ranger to have a bed cover with Pvs. That would work too. I was encourged by the Ohio company that is going to equip the Saturn Sky with an electric motor and a set of batteries to go 100 miles range +/-. that would serve most people viz commute and pick up kids. Great idea.
        all these companies are not waiting for the govt or the "bigs" to do the electric car. the USA is just doing it ourselves.
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