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GM says the 2011 Chevy Volt, America's first mass-market electric vehicle, will be offered in the low 30s (possibly before tax credit), and that it will make a profit.
Its unclear whether Volt's price tag in the low 30s is with or without tax credit

The 2011 Chevy Volt, designed and manufactured by General Motors, faces tremendous challenges as the highest profile electric vehicle launch to date.  Among the most pressing are performance -- currently the Volt can not tolerate very hot climates well -- and pricing.

Many factors, including the cost of the battery pack, the cost of the vehicle warranty (which could possibly include limited battery replacement coverage), and cost of design have led analysts to predict that the Volt will be quite expensive for a mass market vehicle -- in the range of $40,000 USD.  A $7,500 USD tax credit on electric vehicles will bump this price down substantially, but many have voiced doubts about how many consumers will bite at a $32,500 USD price point.

However, according to, the cost may be significantly less, improving the Volt's prospects.  The blog spoke with GM CEO Ed Whitacre and quotes him as saying, "We’re not in business to lose money, we did enough of that already.  [The Volt] is going to sell in the low 30s.  We’ll get a margin on that."

Noticeably absent was any mention that the low 30s price estimate included the government tax credit.  If that figure indeed proves to be before the credit, it could mean GM has a major surprise in store for the market.  If GM can hit the market in the high 20s after a  tax credit, it could steal a substantial amount of business from hybrid makers like Toyota and Honda.

Again, Mr. Whitacre's comments do not entirely rule out that the "price" he's quoting is after tax credit, though that is how has interpreted them.  Regardless, if GM can merely make a profit on the electric vehicles it is producing, that will be impressive.

If GM can achieve either goal -- a price in the 20s after tax credit, or a margin on the vehicles it sells, its bold experiment could pay off.  After all, its position is similar to that of Toyota, when the Japanese automaker entered the world market with the Prius in 2001.  At the time hybrids were unproven and doubts were high; now the car is the bestselling car in Japan and climbing U.S. sales charts.  The Volt has the potential to achieve similar success, if GM can live up to its big promises.

Update 1: Tues., January 19, 2009, 11:05 p.m. -

Turns out that like most things that sound to good to be true, the notion that a "low 30s" price might be pre-tax credit turned out to be wishful thinking.  A GM spokesperson contacted AutoBlog, commenting that while GM "has not officially announced final Volt pricing, a price in the low 30's after a $7,500 tax credit is in the range of possibilities."

While it may be disappointing to many that the Chevy Volt won't hit in the high 20s, this comes as little surprise.  Returning to the Prius parallel, if GM can indeed turn a profit, though, that will still be quite impressive.  Hopefully that prediction by Mr. Whitacre was not simply more wishful thinking.


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RE: Of course it's including the tax credit
By someguy743 on 1/19/2010 1:42:02 PM , Rating: 2
The bottom line is ... in order to get the prices of the (now) expensive batteries for the Chevy Volt to come down, you need subsidies and incentives in place so that the R&D costs and the new factories can be finished and optimized, etc. Once the big factories are built you'll see "economies of scale" kick in and the price of the batteries will probably go down 50-70% ... according to what GM and others have said.

It'll be like with HDTVs. They were expensive at first. Then the competition kicked in and the factories got built. THAT lowered the prices of HDTVs a lot. You also probably don't realize how much this product called GASOLINE is subsidized by the government do you? How do you feel about that?

Read this:

Another good reason WHY the government should be subsidizing the Chevy Volt is because of what George W. Bush said in a "State of the Union" address about 5-6 years ago ... WE'RE ADDICTED TO FOREIGN OIL !!! Oilman T. Boone Pickens says the same thing. It's a bigtime military, economic, and diplomatic problem. Remember in 2008 when GW Bush was over in Saudi Arabia kissing the hands of the fat cat oil sheiks trying to get them to lower their crude oil prices? These same oil sheiks have people around them that are inclined to give money and other assistance to radical terrorist groups like Al Qaida.

We need to "grow our own" energy here in America. Create more energy jobs here. We can make plenty of ELECTRICITY here to "fuel" our Chevy Volts and tell the oil sheiks and petrodictators "we don't need no stinking oil". :)

By shin0bi272 on 1/19/2010 1:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
Right I understand that the price goes down eventually if you sell enough (look at the ps3). But if you are selling them at a loss to begin with then your giving people additional money to buy the thing for the first few years or so youre loosing over 7500 bucks per car (since the government owns gm now and all that).

We have been addicted to foreign oil for a long time and lots of presidents have tried to gin up support for stopping it but none ever have... I just doubt battery powered cars are the answer to getting off foreign oil... Mainly because the bulk of the lithium to put in the batteries comes from china anyway last I heard.

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