GM reveals pricing on Chevrolet Volt
General Motors today released pricing details for the hotly-anticipated Chevrolet Volt. The extended-range electric vehicle will go on sale with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $40,280 (before $720 destination charge). A federal tax incentive of $7,500 drops the price to $32,780.
The Volt comes well-equipped with a standard navigation system, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, Bose premium audio, and 5 years of complimentary OnStar coverage. The only options will be chrome wheels, three premium paint colors, a rear park assist feature, and heated leather seats.
But how does the Volt stack up against the Nissan Leaf, its closest rival in the zero emissions race?
Nissan made waves earlier this year when they announced that the all-electric Leaf would be priced at $32,780. Factor in the $7,500 federal tax incentive and the effective price plummets to a very reasonable $25,280, which Nissan points out is comparable to a well-equipped Toyota Prius hybrid.
Compare the Leaf to the Volt, however, and you’ll find that the Chevy commands a stunning $7,500 price premium over the Nissan.
GM’s new vice president of US marketing, Joel Ewanick is quick to point out that the Volt has something the all-electric Nissan doesn’t: an onboard generator that runs on gasoline and that can keep the car moving for an additional 300 miles after the initial 40-mile all-electric range is depleted. ”No other automaker offers an electrically driven vehicle that can be your everyday driver, to take you wherever, whenever.”
And while the Leaf’s driving range of 70-120 miles may not make it as road-trip-worthy as the Volt, the Leaf is eligible for an additional $5,000 state tax incentive for California residents. This expands the Nissan’s price advantage to $12,500 in what is sure to be a critical sales market for electrically-driven cars.
Consumers will ultimately decide if range anxiety – their fear of running out of electricity before they can find a charging station – is worth the extra $7,500 to $12,500. As some EV enthusiasts have already pointed out, the price difference would cover a lot of rental cars for those times when 70-120 miles just isn’t enough.