• Jun 19th 2008 at 9:14AM
  • 18
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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  • 18 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      wait till gasoline get hard to get like in the 70s and 80s people will be glad to buy a car like the volt at any price.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe they're out to prove that there's no market for the electric car again...
      • 7 Years Ago
      EV1 purchaser aren't representative of the general car buying public, any more than a $80K bidders for Rav4 EVs indicate any kind of market for $80k EVs.

      Also it is not the EV part that likely represents the major issues, it is adding an ICE to the mix, which ups the complexity. People might discover that they don't like a small displacement engine reving at a fairly high constant revs when it kicks in (likely because that is the most efficient way to do it). Or on a longer road trip you may discover that once you deplete the battery, climbing long grades leaves the car crawling as the generator alone doesn't supply enough power to enable accelerating on a grade.

      Then we have the big expensive battery. I wonder about the warranty on this massively priced item.

      This is serial hybrid 1.0 built with a lot of components that will be off the shelf and bended to this purpose(but not optimized), integrated with first generation software. All of it rushed to market.

      You would have to be quite naive to think it won't have quite a lot of issues.

      In charge sustaining mode, will likely have worse fuel economy than Toyotas much cheaper new 3rd generation Prius that will be out at the same time.

      It will be a question of how many people will pay anything and put up with anything for the privilege of plugging in.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it is worth remembering that the base price for a Toyota Prius is currently $21,500:

      http://www.toyota.com/prius-hybrid/

      And adding a Hymotion L5 Module to convert it into a PHEV costs $9,995:

      http://www.a123systems.com/hymotion/products/faqs

      That would give you a PHEV with a much lower price tag ($31,495), a comparable electric range (30-40 miles), an equal amount of seating (with more useable cargo space) --and a much better looking vehicle than the deplorable Volt.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Here is a frightening thought. With rising oil prices pushing an inflationary trend, $40,000 might not be considered all that expensive 2 years from now...
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is simply poor reporting.

      I read the article and this is NOT a direct quote. Why?

      The cars are still 2 years away and GM's doesn't even know their costs yet much less the retail price and how that will be affected by legislation that will surely come up in the next congress for the new president to sign.

      Mr. Lutz probably said something to the effect that "we think the first Volts will cost us about $40K to produce." It is simply too soon to know for sure.

      He HAS said that "we will take a loss on them for the first few years because they will be priced in the main stream" and "they will be priced for the main stream" and "we made them Chevy's because that is our main stream brand" and “we ultimately want to produce and sell millions” and that the Volt exists to compete with Toyota and the Prius which is priced well under $30K.

      Don't get you panties in a bunch over hearsay.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Lutz. He is supposed to be the driver behind the Volt program but he has more egg on his face than anyone at GM, let alone Toyota, as he so famously predicted. "Comfortably under $30,000" was his earlier statement. Seems they may just price the Volt so high that the sales numbers will be tiny, making what could have been a game changing car into a footnote.
      I still think that there is a good chance that the Volt will sell for $38,000 and will have nearly $10,000 in tax credits to reduce the real price to below $30,000, due to comments by other GM engineers, but I am going to wait and see.
      The first decent plug in car with 30+ AER, under $30,000, I am all over it.
      We need electric cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My electric conversion is under $2000, and the range will be about 45 miles. After the 40 miles, it then "switches to gas" in the sense that I drive home and start driving my other car. However, 9/10 times I don't go more than 40 miles in a day.

      The Lead Acid batteries from Walmart typically last about 3 years, and cost about $800-900.

      My car is a piece of crap VW 1971 super beetle. It's embarassing that someone that doesn't even know how to change his own oil can do something that the volt can barely do, and at 1/20 of the cost. It's true, that the volt will have a range of like 650 miles, but who gives a crap when 90% of my driving is under 30 miles a day. I'll drive my Kia Spectra when I go visit grandma this summer.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'll wager that the number of people that would have actually put down $40,000 in the 1990's (which is more like $50,000 thanks to Bushes inflation plan) for a glorified golf cart is pretty small. Now people are getting excited about tax payer dollars subsidizing the sale of EV1 2.0 to the tune of up to $10,000??? Do you know how much gas $10,000 buys? This is pathetic.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How much over list will the dealers charge to fill their pockets?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Personally I likely wouldn't touch a GM 1.0 race to market with new technology project and I certainly wouldn't pay a premium to join this beta test."

      I understand your point of view, especially considering how unhappy the EV1 leasees were with their cars, and eager they were to relinquish them.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think there will be enough early adopters willing to pay the premium price to move the Volts off the lots. As long as GM builds the Volt with a high level of quality so you don't feel like you are buying a $40,000 Cobolt then I think buyers should be satisfied. I would buy one, not to save the planet, but rather to have a car that is using energy that is produced here at home. That's exciting and worth a lot IMHO.
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