No $30K Chevy Volt without Congress' help

Since the inception of the Chevy Volt program in 2006, GM's goal has been to offer the range extended electric vehicle for a sub-$30,000 price point. That level has always been seen as the threshold to get high-volume sales of an electric car. Unfortunately, lithium ion batteries remain far too expensive to be able to sell the car at that price profitably. GM has always indicated that they expect the car to remain a money loser in the early years of production, but given the financial difficulties of all the domestic automakers, they can only go so far in subsidizing the car.

In order to help make the Volt less financially painful both for the manufacturer and consumers, GM is lobbying Congress to pass a new batch of tax breaks for plug-in vehicles. There has been on-going debate in Congress for some time about tax credits for plug-in hybrids and GM wants to make sure that ER-EVs are specifically included. A credit of $7,000 for the purchase of such a vehicle seems to be the target point. According to GM sources cited by Automotive News (subs req'd) a $30,000 price seems unlikely unless tax credits are passed by Congress and the White House. The House of Representatives already passed a bill last week that included PHEV tax breaks but the White House has threatened a veto. More than likely, nothing will happen until early in 2009 when a new President is in office.

UPDATE: typo fixed

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. req'd]

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