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Chevy Volt
GM's shining star finally get an official price

The Chevrolet Volt is undeniably the most high profile project going on at General Motors these days. The vehicle was first unveiled as a concept back at the Detroit Auto Show in January of 2007 and since that time has gone through a long gestation period.

The production version of the Volt is unrecognizable from the original concept that debuted in 2007, but its mission remains the same: to provide 40 miles of electric-only propulsion and an additional 300 miles when the 1.4-liter gasoline engine/generator kicks in.

Today, GM has announced official pricing for its Chevy Cruze-based vehicle. The vehicle will be priced at $41,000 ($33,500 net of full federal income tax credit). Fully loaded, the vehicle will run you $44,600 before the tax credit. It will also be available for a 36-month lease ($350 per month with $2,500 due at lease signing).

“The Chevrolet Volt will be the best vehicle in its class… because it’s in a class by itself,” said Joel Ewanick, vice president of U.S. marketing for General Motors. “No other automaker offers an electrically driven vehicle that can be your everyday driver, to take you wherever, whenever. The Volt will be packed with premium content and innovation, standard.”

When it comes to “mainstream” electric vehicles, the pricing of the Volt puts it a few pegs above Nissan’s Leaf electric vehicle (EV). The Nissan Leaf has a base MSRP of $32,780 before the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs. Depending on what state customers live in, the final price of the Leaf can drop down to around $20,000 after local and state tax incentives.

According to GM's Online Order/Reference Guide, the Volt rides on a 105.7" wheelbase and measures 177.1" x 70.4" x 56.6" (L x W x H). Cargo capacity for the vehicle is listed at 10.6 cubic feet. Standard features for the Volt include a GPS navigation system (7" display), 30GB hard drive for audio storage, XM Radio/XM NavTraffic, OnStar, Vehicle Connectivity, and Bluetooth.

The Volt's 1.4-liter engine/generator also inexplicably requires premium fuel to operate. The gasoline generator is rated at 80 hp while the electric motor is rated at 74 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Total rated system power is 150 hp according to GM. The Volt's battery pack will come with an 8-year/100,000 warranty.

According to Green Car Advisor, the Chevy Volt can accelerate to 60 mph in about nine seconds. Top speed for the vehicle will be 100 mph.

When it comes to charging the vehicle, GM had this to say:

While the Chevrolet Volt will come standard with a 120-volt charge cord that will provide owners with the ability to charge their Volt directly from a standard home electrical outlet, a total of 4,400 Volt buyers in launch markets could be eligible for a free 240-volt charging station, including home installation.  The installations are part of a program developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to install approximately 15,000 240-volt home charging stations across the U.S.

The Chevy Volt will be available in Silver Ice Metallic, Black, Crystal Red Metallic Tint,
White Diamond Tricoat, Cyber Gray Metallic, and Viridian Joule Tricoat.

Although customer-ready production models of the first generation Chevy Volt have yet to hit U.S. streets, GM is already brainstorming about changes it will make to the second generation model. The current Volt uses an off-the-shelf engine that it shares with the Chevy Cruze. Such a large and complex motor that is merely serving as a generator is both wasteful and expensive. GM instead wants to look at other options such as a smaller two-cylinder gasoline engine, rotary engine, or a small displacement diesel engine.

The Volt will also get a larger sibling in the form of the Volt MPV5. The Volt MPV5 trades the rather restrictive 4-passenger sedan configuration of the standard model for a crossover configuration that seats five and offers a more generous cargo area (62 cubic feet with the rear seats down). Due to the more compromised aerodynamics and heavier body, the Volt MPV5 can achieve a battery-only range of 32 miles instead of the Volt’s 40 miles.

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Still too expensive
By KIAman on 7/27/2010 12:16:01 PM , Rating: 4
So best case scenario is a Volt priced around $32,000 depending on the state? Still too expensive for what it offers.

I think that quote from GM sums it up "It's only the best in class by default because it's in a class of its own."


RE: Still too expensive
By Kutcher on 7/27/2010 12:46:57 PM , Rating: 2
Well said GM, by that definition it's also the worst in class.....morons.

I don't think this will be the game changer they were hoping for.

RE: Still too expensive
By Suntan on 7/27/2010 12:56:31 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know about that. Reality being disconnected from life as it is, this car is now the car you have to buy if you want to be hip and eco-trendy. That alone sold a lot of Priui in their day.

In the eyes of a lot of eco-hipsters, the Prius will be officially demoted to, "Nice, but not the one I really want."


RE: Still too expensive
By bhieb on 7/27/2010 1:28:29 PM , Rating: 2
Except that those same eco-hippies generally hate all things US, as we are the evil corporate oppressive nation that is all things wrong with the world.

RE: Still too expensive
By room200 on 7/27/2010 7:37:14 PM , Rating: 2
That's funny. I thought all the US bashing posters on DT hated the US and anything positive about American car companies.

RE: Still too expensive
By Cypherdude1 on 7/28/2010 11:37:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's too early to tell if the Volt will be a failure or success. There is a large pent up demand for an electric car out there. GM's EV1 had a large loyal following. There were many leasee's, you could not actually buy the EV1, who wanted to buy their EV1's but were turned down. GM wanted to get rid of the EV1 as quickly as possible. They even made a movie about it!

I am glad that, this time, people will be able to keep their electric cars. This indicates things are finally changing.

I once advocated electric cars were the best option to reduce our foreign oil dependence. However, the cost and complexity of these cars are still too high. I now believe high mileage diesels are probably the best option. They're cheaper, less complex, and don't require an expensive lithium battery (which needs replacing every 10 years):

There is also the problem of the stress thousands of these new electric cars will induce when they are all connected to California's aging electric transmission lines. We are already have problems now. I expect we will have more overloads and blackouts once these cars reach consumers.

RE: Still too expensive
By ebakke on 7/27/2010 1:31:55 PM , Rating: 1
But those eco-trendy hipsters will have a tough time justifying to themselves the purchase of a new car when their existing car works just fine (even if it's not the latest and greatest status symbol). Just think of all that carbon released during production!! Oh the humanity!!

I just can't see this thing taking off.

RE: Still too expensive
By IcePickFreak on 7/27/2010 1:35:44 PM , Rating: 2
As if that has stopped them thus far.

RE: Still too expensive
By 67STANG on 7/27/2010 1:57:53 PM , Rating: 4
Agreed. I'm a true "eco-trendy hipster" as I only buy pre-owned vehicles. It's called "recycling".

I pickup the car for 30-50% off original MSRP, and let other suckers lose their money when they drive it off the lot new. Sure, the cars I buy typically have 10-20k on the odometer, but they still have the factory warranty, and I can buy new car scent at Pep Boys.

I just picked up a slightly used Mustang GT Convertible with 19k on the odometer for just over 18 grand out the door. I have plenty of money for gas. =)

RE: Still too expensive
By sprockkets on 7/27/2010 9:11:46 PM , Rating: 1
OTOH, my Mazda3 is actually worth buying new since used ones are so close to new prices, and I couldn't find a Mazda3 for sale used with the features I wanted.

RE: Still too expensive
By theapparition on 7/27/2010 2:31:28 PM , Rating: 5
And yet I predict they'll sell every single one of them.

You don't have to be the cheapest or best product to sell them. Just ask Apple.

RE: Still too expensive
By TSS on 7/28/2010 11:36:27 AM , Rating: 2
Well that raises the whole tax credit debate again. Why is the government spending money to increase the sales of something that will be sold out regardless?

In fact, if the above is true, it's even making the problem worse by increasing waiting list time, and thus the likelyhood of people staying in their clunker untill their new car arrives or buy a temporary cheap and inefficient car?

Good for you for getting a Volt in 2 years but what are you going to drive those 2 years?

RE: Still too expensive
By S3anister on 7/27/2010 8:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding.

What I fail to understand is why GM decided to us a gasoline engine (that needs premium? seriously?) instead of a low rpm high-torque diesel engine...

RE: Still too expensive
By Reclaimer77 on 7/27/2010 9:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, as they say that is "epic fail" on their part. I mean honestly, who made that call?

RE: Still too expensive
By sprockkets on 7/27/2010 9:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
The engine doesn't drive the car, it only charges it. Gas vs. diesel argument is irrelevant here.

RE: Still too expensive
By Reclaimer77 on 7/27/2010 9:26:22 PM , Rating: 2
The engine doesn't drive the car, it only charges it. Gas vs. diesel argument is irrelevant here.

Are you a moron? The point is that premium COSTS MORE per gallon. It doesn't matter what the fuel is used for. There is NO REASON to put an engine in the Volt that requires premium fuel for that use.

RE: Still too expensive
By sprockkets on 7/27/2010 9:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
Are you a moron? The point is that premium COSTS MORE per gallon. It doesn't matter what the fuel is used for. There is NO REASON to put an engine in the Volt that requires premium fuel for that use.

If you want to call GM a moron for requiring premium fuel vs normal, go for it.

But don't be like saying they should have put in a diesel which weighs more and requires a turbo either, because that's exactly the reasons they chose not to use a diesel.

You all gave reasons such as low end torque, which again, is irrelevant since the engine isn't connected to the drivetrain.

And btw, they explained sometime ago why it requires premium, but I can't remember the reason.

RE: Still too expensive
By sprockkets on 7/28/2010 7:12:49 AM , Rating: 3
Here, someone remembered the reason why GM is using premium:

Premium gas is not just for performance engines. The primary difference between premium and regular gas is the octane rating. Octane enables higher compression of the air fuel mixture which increases performance and fuel economy. So it makes perfect sense to have a small displacement high compression engine.

RE: Still too expensive
By Reclaimer77 on 7/28/2010 12:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
It's a tiny engine who's only function is to recharge the battery. Tell me, does it REALLY need to be high compression? No.

RE: Still too expensive
By clovell on 7/28/2010 1:22:33 PM , Rating: 2
iirc, GM played hell getting the noise from the generator to an acceptable level - may have had something to do with it.

RE: Still too expensive
By Reclaimer77 on 7/28/2010 5:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
As in higher compression engines run more quiet? I have no idea, but I wouldn't think that would be a factor.

RE: Still too expensive
By sprockkets on 7/28/2010 6:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
If it saves weight, which is crucial for this kind of car, uh, YES.

RE: Still too expensive
By Reclaimer77 on 7/28/2010 6:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
How much weight are we talking, first off? And you still haven't demonstrated that this car needed an engine requiring premium fuel. You are just SPECULATING!

I want it, in writing from an engineer, why this was the ONLY course of action they possibly could have taken and still meet all project goals.

RE: Still too expensive
By sprockkets on 7/28/2010 6:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I'm not. I read on LLN sometime ago GM telling the press why they did it.

I want it, in writing from an engineer, why this was the ONLY course of action they possibly could have taken and still meet all project goals.

Well I can't help you there. But they gave it some thought, unlike others who just said "Hell, why not a diesel?"

RE: Still too expensive
By Hiawa23 on 7/27/2010 11:04:36 PM , Rating: 3
At that price, will stick with gasonline vehicles. Not sure how an electric vehicle saves any money & seems like you are trading one evil for another as most electricity is made from coal.

RE: Still too expensive
By Yames on 7/28/2010 1:31:58 PM , Rating: 2
I crunched some numbers looking at the Civic Hybrid vs its regular brother. Using current gas prices I looked at cost over their life and due to the higher upfront cost the hybrid was more expensive. Most electricity (at least in Texas) is made from coal and natural gas, so that kills that eco benefit as well. Once prices come down I may bite, but even 35K for this car is too much.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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