At this point, it's no secret that the Chevy Volt and other plug-in vehicles are not going to come cheap. About the least pricey full-speed electric vehicle may very well be the Nissan Leaf, which after incentives may be in the $27-28,000 range before the extra cost of leasing the battery. While the operational costs of these cars should be substantially less than any internal combustion vehicle, customers rarely think that far ahead when signing up for a car loan. That's especially true when gas remains well under $3 a gallon here in the US.

Speaking at the Business of Plugging In Conference in Dearborn, Michigan this week, GM's VP of Global Program Management told the audience that incentives will need to be increased for plug-in vehicles to start gaining a real foothold in the US market.

Although GM won't announce pricing until its launch a year from now, most observers expect the Volt to run about $40,000. With a $7,500 federal tax credit, it will still be well over $30,000, which is very expensive for a compact car. Unless gas prices get significantly higher or incentives are increased, most buyers are unlikely to find this or other plug-ins to be a good economic proposition.

[Source: Detroit News]