Back in July of 2010, General Motors revealed that the 2011 Chevrolet Volt would be slapped with a base price of $41,000 (including a $720 destination charge, but excluding any plug-in vehicle incentives). While the Volt's price isn't as aggressive as some potential buyers had hoped for, its lease rate of $350 per month for 36 months is nearly identical to the deal offered on the Nissan Leaf.
Buyers willing to wait for the second-generation Volt to debut may see a price tag that's up to $7,500 less than the $41,000 sticker on the 2011 model. According to GM-Volt, The General expects that economies of scale, along with the possibility of reducing the size of the Volt's lithium-ion battery pack, could contribute to a $7,500 price reduction for GM's next-gen plug-in hybrid. GM spokesman Robert Peterson reiterated that the Volt's price will drop over time, stating:
However, Peterson made no specific mention of a $7,500 price cut. At this time, that number seems to be a well-circulated rumor, rather than an actual target set by GM. If it's an actual target, it makes some sort of sense: the maximum federal tax credit is worth $7,500, and it is set to expire for GM after the automaker sells 200,000 qualified vehicles.
As with any new technology - from plasma TVs to cell phones - the production costs lower with learnings gained with each generation. We expect to see similar cost savings, either through the development or improvement of technologies, or reduced production costs.