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Volt will be much cheaper in the next generation  (Source: GM)
Price cut will come from smaller battery packs and economy of scale

The Chevrolet Volt is an interesting green vehicle with its ability to drive on electric power alone for short distances coupled with the ability to drive for much longer distances using a gasoline engine. The big drawback to the Volt today is the price of the vehicle.

The MSRP of the Volt is around $41,000, which is keeping some of the people that might be interested in the vehicle from biting. GM has announced that it hopes to reduce the price of the Volt by $7,500 for the next generation.

If GM were able to cut the MSRP by $7,500, when a buyer figures the federal tax rebate into the price the Volt would sell for under $30,000 making it much more appealing to most car buyers. The discount would also put the Volt more in line with the MSRP of the Nissan Leaf EV.

GM's Robert Peterson said, "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."

The discount could be achieved by taking advantage of greater economies of scale and by using a smaller battery pack that would presumably offer the same range as the battery pack in the Volt today. 

Edmunds reports that GM sold 321 Volts in January and 326 in December while the Leaf sold 87 units last month. GM plans to build 25,000 Volts this year and up to 50,000 in 2012.

The first Volt demo cars showed up at dealers this week.





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