At this point any hope of picking up a first-generation Chevy Volt anywhere near the original $30,000 price target will likely come down to what tax incentives may be available at the state and federal level. GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has told the Seattle Times that the first-generation Volt would retail for about $40,000. Even at that level GM won't be generating any profit on the car and likely won't start doing so until at least a second-generation model comes out. Unless automotive industry lobbyists can convince Congress to pass some of the proposed legislation that includes plug-in tax credits on the order of $7,000 for a Volt-type car, the price to the consumer is going to be at least one third more than originally envisioned. The combination of high gas prices that are driving consumers away from truck and fuel economy and emissions regulations will keep pushing GM and other manufacturers towards electrically driven cars. Lutz told the paper he expected one quarter to one half of all new cars between 2020 and 2025 to be electric with either batteries or hydrogen as the energy source.

[Source: Seattle Times]

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