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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, MyVOLT.com 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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Pfft
By YashBudini on 7/27/2010 5:58:07 PM , Rating: 1
Calculate how many miles you have to drive to break even cost-wise over a small gas engine equivalent.

You'll never have to worry about replacing the batteries because by the time that happens the paint job will have shed and the car will look like it's ready for the scrap heap. Perhaps it will be worth something in materials alone.

There's nothing green about a car that uses less fuel to a degree but uses a ton more fuel during manufacturing. Create a rating system and show the results.

It may do well in extreme stop and go traffic, such as found in Manhattan waiting for one of the tunnels, as long as you don't need AC or heat.




RE: Pfft
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 7/27/2010 6:03:52 PM , Rating: 1
Someone posted this over at The Car Lounge:

quote:
some food for thought. it's general and figures you are driving the volt 40 miles per day or less so no fuel is ever boght for the volt. also doesn't factor in charging cost but as MikeNoGo pointed out for us it is pretty cheap. (thank you for that info by the way)

volt $41,000.00
gasser $20,000.00 gasser mpg 28

cost of fuel $2.99

cost difference between volt and gasser $21,000.00


gallons of fuel added cost of volt could purchase 7,023.41

miles to drive gasser before cost surpasses cost of volt 196,655.52

volt $41,000.00
tdi $25,000.00 tdi mpg 45

cost of fuel $3.25

cost difference between volt and tdi $16,000.00


gallons of fuel added cost of volt could purchase 4,923.08

miles to drive tdi before cost surpasses cost of volt 221,538.46
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RE: Pfft
By Sibuna on 7/27/2010 8:00:01 PM , Rating: 1
Isn't he forgetting the $7,500+ rebate though?

If you count the volt at $33,500 the numbers become much smaller.

Simulation 1-
volt $33,500.00
gasser $20,000.00 gasser mpg 28

cost of fuel $2.99

cost difference between volt and gasser $13,500.00

gallons of fuel added cost of volt could purchase 4515.05

miles to drive gasser before cost surpasses cost of volt 126421.40

Simulation 2-

volt $33,500.00
tdi $25,000.00 tdi mpg 45

cost of fuel $3.25

cost difference between volt and tdi $8,500.00

gallons of fuel added cost of volt could purchase 2615.38

miles to drive tdi before cost surpasses cost of volt 117692.31

Charging, if I remember anecdotally, costs ~1% the price per mile than if using gas, which, as already stated, would be very minute and wouldn't change the numbers too much.


RE: Pfft
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 7/27/2010 8:05:36 PM , Rating: 1
Even with the revised numbers, it still doesn't make much financial sense.


RE: Pfft
By Sibuna on 7/27/2010 8:08:10 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, but that somewhat sets up a gen 2 or 3 of the volt for being somewhat beneficial if they can get the cost down. I'm all for new things, but usually the first generation is the one I skip.


RE: Pfft
By DougF on 7/28/2010 9:23:08 AM , Rating: 2
Neither does a Corvette, or a Hummer, or a Bentley, or Porsche, etc, and people commute to work in those as well. For at least the next few years, this will be about status and "I'm more eco-minded than you" attitudes. Let them be the lead-in market and subsidize the follow-on generations that will be more appealing to the cost-conscious.

That said, you still have to pay GM $41K for the car. The flip side of this equation is that the Volt may be attractive to those who need a tax break of $7,500 to $12,500. And if you're gonna buy a new car, why not get one that helps out with the taxes?


RE: Pfft
By YashBudini on 7/27/2010 11:29:25 PM , Rating: 2
"miles to drive gasser before cost surpasses cost of volt 126421.40 "

And shall we factor in the cost of replacement batteries at this point, and if not soon?

Compare that to my gas power car, 260,000 miles never been towed, no engine or transmission work, and insurance for a worthless car (14 years old) is pretty cheap too.


RE: Pfft
By theapparition on 7/27/2010 11:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
Batteries in the Volt are warrantied for 10 years, so nice try.
And one of the reasons for the Volts cost is the factored in cost of the replacement batteries.


RE: Pfft
By superflex on 7/28/2010 12:16:20 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you think the electricity to charge that ugly ass thing is free. Nice try.
The comparison also only assumes you drive the Volt for less than 40 miles only on battery. Add gas to the mix and the Volt is a fail.
Again, nice try.


RE: Pfft
By Yames on 7/28/2010 1:42:43 PM , Rating: 2
120,000 miles is also around 10 years, so at this point of driving the batteries would need replacing, and at 10 years the owner will be the one responsible for replacing the batteries, while the owner of the "gasser" will still be ahead in cost.


RE: Pfft
By jthistle on 7/28/2010 11:44:25 AM , Rating: 2
Revise those numbers again the tdi also gets a tax rebate. I believe the Jetta gets a $1300 tax rebate.


RE: Pfft
By bigdawg1988 on 7/28/2010 4:54:12 PM , Rating: 2
But what if you lease cars every three years, wouldn't the Volt come out on top (or close) then?
Assuming the lease prices are similar (which I doubt) then you'd save whatever the fuel cost for the tdi would be.
I wonder what the resale cost of a Volt would be if you rarely used the gas engine after five years? Is there some sort of hour meter to indicate how much the gas engine has been used?

Of course I doubt it will be nearly as much fun to drive. Those vw folks sure know how to make a car feel good. Sigh, I miss my Jetta....


RE: Pfft
By YashBudini on 7/27/2010 11:32:19 PM , Rating: 1
"miles to drive tdi before cost surpasses cost of volt 221,538.46"

Given how many years it will take to get that kind of mileage some of GMs best cars may still look decent at that point, but if this is an economy car (referring to how it was built) then I'd wouldn't expect it to look like much of anything.


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