And you thought the Chevy Volt was a bit expensive in the U.S. For Americans, the car's MSRP is $39,145. But get this: GM's halo car is about to go on sale in eight cities in China, and the cost is RMB 498,000 ($78,276 U.S. at today's exchange rate). So, yes, you can buy one Volt in China or two in the U.S. for almost exactly the same amount of money – tax incentives and other offers notwithstanding.

Still, buyers in the eight cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Foshan) may still be tempted because of the special V+ Club, which grants access to a 24-hour hotline to get one-on-one service as well as invitations "a series of member activities that match their eco-friendly lifestyles." Or maybe they just want to drive a plug-in car and have passed on the offerings from BYD.

Of course, that plug-in, green side of the Volt is only as clean as the grid it feeds on, and China is known for building one coal-fired power plant per month. These are technically cleaner plants than the really old-school ones you may be picturing, but they're still burning a lot of dirty coal.
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Chevrolet Volt to be Sold in Eight Chinese Cities

2011-11-21

SHANGHAI -- The Chevrolet Volt electric car will go on sale at 13 Shanghai GM Chevrolet dealerships in eight Chinese cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Foshan. It will be priced at RMB 498,000 ($75,533).

The announcement was made Monday as part of General Motors' participation in Auto Guangzhou 2011. Two of GM's joint ventures, Shanghai GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling, are displaying more than 30 vehicles from the Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Baojun brands.

China will be among the first global markets to offer the Volt, which provides up to 80 kilometers of pure electric driving. With its onboard engine-generator, it has a total driving range of 570 kilometers in extended-range mode. It produces peak torque of 370 Nm and maximum power of 111 kW and has a 0-100 km/h time of about nine seconds along with a top speed of 160 km/h.

The Volt earned a five-star safety rating from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Its battery carries a warranty of six years/150,000 kilometers. The Volt's introduction is part of Shanghai GM's Drive to Green strategy, which is focused on delivering products that offer higher fuel economy and lower emissions.

Volt buyers will be eligible to join the V+ Club. By calling a bilingual 24-hour hotline, members will receive one-on-one service. In addition, they will be invited to participate in a series of member activities that match their eco-friendly lifestyles.

General Motors traces its roots back to 1908. GM has 11 joint ventures, two wholly owned foreign enterprises and more than 35,000 employees in China. GM and its joint ventures offer the broadest lineup of vehicles and brands among automakers in China. Passenger cars and commercial vehicles are sold under the Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jiefang, Opel and Wuling brands. In 2010, GM sold more than 2.35 million vehicles in China, which represented 28.8 percent growth over the prior year. It has been the sales leader among global automakers in the market for six consecutive years. More information on General Motors in China can be found at GM Media Online.

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