Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors' recently hired vice-president for sales and marketing Joel Ewanick took the stage at the Plug-In 2010 conference in San Jose, CA today and finally revealed that the 2011 Chevrolet Volt will have a base price of $41,000 (including a $720 destination charge) before federal and state tax incentives. While GM hasn't gone as aggressive as most people had hoped on the sticker price, the real deal appears to be the $350 per month for 36 months lease. That matches the monthly payment that Nissan is charging for the Leaf EV.

The effective purchase price of the Volt will be cut to $33,500 with a $7,500 federal tax credit (hence the asterisk in the title), but buyers will have to finance the $41,000 and get the credit back on their next tax return. Lease customers will have the credit factored in to their payment. The Volt lease requires a $2,500 down payment (vs $2,000 for the Leaf), but GM is including a clause in the lease contract that allows leasers to buy the car at the end of their term so that the automaker don't have another standoff with customers like it did with the all-electric EV1. Follow the jump to learn more about the Volt's price and how the order process will go, but first take our informal poll below.

Will you buy/lease a 2011 Chevrolet Volt?
Yes, $41k is a small price to pay and the $7,500 tax credit is gravy. 1 (20.0%)
Yes, $350/month for a 3-year lease is the best deal. 1 (20.0%)
No, I'll wait until GM lowers the price. 1 (20.0%)
No, the all-electric Nissan Leaf is for me. 1 (20.0%)
No thank you, just no thanks. Really Ed Begley Jr., I don't want one. 1 (20.0%)



  • Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman
  • Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman
  • The Chevrolet Volt "Freedom Drive" across the country concludes at Pier 92 during the annual Macy's Independence Day fireworks display over the Hudson River in New York, Sunday, July 4, 2010. The "Freedom Drive" began four days and 1.776 miles ago in Austin, Texas where Chevrolet announced New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas would join Michigan, California and Washington, D.C. as launch sites for the Volt later this year. (Photo by Emile Wamsteker for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt "Freedom Drive" across the country concludes at Pier 92 during the annual Macy's Independence Day fireworks display over the Hudson River in New York, Sunday, July 4, 2010. The "Freedom Drive" began four days and 1.776 miles ago in Austin, Texas where Chevrolet announced New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas would join Michigan, California and Washington, D.C. as launch sites for the Volt later this year. (Photo by Emile Wamsteker for Chevrolet)
  • Chevrolet announces Thursday, July 1, 2010 it is adding Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the launch markets for the Volt electric vehicle. The retail launch in Texas and New York will begin with Austin and New York City in late 2010. The balance of Texas and New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, are scheduled to begin receiving Volts in early 2011. The Chevrolet Volt (pictured here) in front of the Texas State Capital in Austiin, Texas Wednesday, June 30, 2010. (Photo by Steven Noreyko for Chevrolet)
  • Chevrolet announces Thursday, July 1, 2010 it is adding Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the launch markets for the Volt electric vehicle. The retail launch in Texas and New York will begin with Austin and New York City in late 2010. The balance of Texas and New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, are scheduled to begin receiving Volts in early 2011. The Chevrolet Volt (pictured here) in front of the Texas State Capital in Austiin, Texas Wednesday, June 30, 2010. (Photo by Steven Noreyko for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt passes a trolley while navigating the steep climbs of the San Francisco Bay area while on an engineering development drive Saturday, April 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California The Volt will be available in California during the last quarter of 2010. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt drives near the Golden Gate Bridge while on an engineering development drive in San Francisco, California Saturday, April 25, 2010. The Volt will be available in California during the last quarter of 2010. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt navigates the steep climbs of the San Francisco Bay area while on an engineering development drive Saturday, April 25, 2010 in San Francisco, California The Volt will be available in California during the last quarter of 2010. (Photo by Martin Klimek for Chevrolet)
  • The new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range on display at Columbia University on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Photo by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)
  • The new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range drives through campus at Columbia University on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Photo by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)
  • The new Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range drives through campus at Columbia University on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2010 in New York, NY. (Photo by Todd Plitt for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt �Freedom Drive� across the country continues in Fairfax, Virginia Saturday, July 3, 2010 as the Volt participates in the annual Independence Day Parade. The Volt, an electric vehicle with extended range. will finish its four-day, 1,776 mile route in New York City on Sunday. (Photo by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt �Freedom Drive� across the country continues in Fairfax, Virginia Saturday, July 3, 2010 as the Volt participates in the annual Independence Day Parade. The Volt, an electric vehicle with extended range. will finish its four-day, 1,776 mile route in New York City on Sunday. (Photo by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)
  • The Chevrolet Volt �Freedom Drive� across the country continues in Fairfax, Virginia Saturday, July 3, 2010 as the Volt participates in the annual Independence Day Parade. The Volt, an electric vehicle with extended range. will finish its four-day, 1,776 mile route in New York City on Sunday. (Photo by Mark Finkenstaedt for Chevrolet)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range travels around Pier 92 during a media test drive in New York, NY on Monday, March 29, 2010. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet) (3/29/2010)
  • A pre-production Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range travels around Pier 92 during a media test drive in New York, NY on Monday, March 29, 2010. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet) (3/29/2010)
  • The first pre-production Chevrolet Volt rolls off the line at the Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing plant Wednesday, March 31, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The pre-production versions of the Volt will not be sold at dealerships, but will be used to assure all steps in the production system will meet the quality targets set by the Volt engineering team. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet) (04/01/2010)
  • A Chevrolet Volt battery at the General Motors Global Battery Systems Lab in Warren, Michigan Wednesday, June 30, 2010. The Chevrolet Volt will offer customers an unprecedented standard 8 year/100,000 mile warranty on its lithium-ion battery. GM engineers have completed more than 1 million miles and 4 million hours of validation battery testing since 2007. Each Volt battery pack has nine modules and 288 cells. GM designed and engineered 99 percent of the 155 components in each battery. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet)


The base sticker price gets customers a very well equipped car that includes standard navigation with a seven-inch screen, an eight-year/100,000 mile battery warranty, Bluetooth connectivity, Bose audio system and five years of OnStar service included. The OnStar service, which includes turn-by-turn directions and mobile applications, normally costs $300 per year. The only available options for the Volt are heated leather seats, chrome wheels, three premium paint colors and rear park assist.

We asked GM spokesman Randy Fox about the high-level of standard equipment. When the automaker's two-mode hybrid SUVs were launched, they were only available in a highly contented form like this, which led to very high sticker prices and subsequently low sales. According to Fox, these early build combinations of the Volt are being kept simple and the expectation is that there will be sufficient demand to absorb them. Within a year or two as production ramps up, GM will begin offering the Volt with less content and a lower price point. Apparently this is the cost of being an early adopter.

Within a year or two, GM will begin offering the Volt with less content and a lower price point.
Based on the lease price, GM is clearly confident that the Volt will be successful and retain a high residual value at the end of the three-year lease term. The Volt goes on sale in December of this year in seven U.S. markets, and GM expects it to be available nationally within 12-18 months. Despite the price point, enough initial demand is expected that at least some dealers will be tempted to charge an extra markup. Although the automaker has no real power to stop dealers from charging whatever they think the market will bear, Ewanick acknowledged that dealers will be discouraged from doing that.

Ewanick also outlined the ordering process for the Volt. Initially 600 Chevrolet dealers in the launch markets will be certified to sell and service the Volt. Customers can find these dealers through the http://getmyvolt.com website. Once they find a local dealer, the process proceeds much like ordering any other car with customers paying a deposit and filing order forms. Once the car has been ordered, Volt customer service advisers will contact the customer and take them through a survey to determine if they are eligible for one of the free Department of Energy-funded home charging units from Coulomb Technologies or Ecotality.

If they don't live in one of the eligible areas, they will be referred to another charger supplier that GM will be working with. Because the Volt's 16 kilowatt-hour battery pack can be charged in just 8-10 hours from a 110 volt outlet, customers don't actually have to get a 220-volt charger for the Volt, potentially saving them several thousand dollars compared to a battery EV like the Leaf. GM will be naming its preferred charger supplier and a price closer to the car's on-sale date.

Customers will also be able to use the http://getmyvolt.com site to monitor the build of their vehicle and get more information about the car even after delivery.

So, the big question remains:

Will you buy/lease a 2011 Chevrolet Volt?
Yes, $41k is a small price to pay and the $7,500 tax credit is gravy. 1 (20.0%)
Yes, $350/month for a 3-year lease is the best deal. 1 (20.0%)
No, I'll wait until GM lowers the price. 1 (20.0%)
No, the all-electric Nissan Leaf is for me. 1 (20.0%)
No thank you, just no thanks. Really Ed Begley Jr., I don't want one. 1 (20.0%)

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