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A Sylmar, CA Chevy dealership is among those price gouging on the new Volt. Dealers are marking up the Volt by $5,000-$10,000 on eBay auctions. Offline one Florida dealer is reportedly asking for an incredible $25K above the MSRP.  (Source: eBay Motors)
A number Volts are selling at $5,000 or more markup -- one dealer is reportedly asking for $25k extra

General Motors' 2011 Chevy Volt is the first EV from an American automaker to debut under $50,000 USD.  Priced at $40,280 before $7,500 tax credit, demand for the EV is very high.  Despite increasing production in response to demand, GM will likely only be able to ship 25,000 of the vehicles this year.  While it promises more production next year, some "green-minded" customers can't wait to get their hands on the vehicle.

Dealers are looking to take advantage of this situation by offer the scarce Volt vehicles at anywhere from a modest markup to a giant one.

One Michigan dealer listed a "Buy It Now" Volt on eBay Motors for $46,923 USD -- a markup of $6,643 USD [1].  Another North Carolina dealer actually tried to resell a Volt it bought from a Maryland dealer.  That Volt was marked at a cool $49,900 USD -- a markup of $9,620 USD [2].  Neither of these vehicles sold (note: links will expire in about a month).

But these examples pale in comparison to a Florida dealer's incredible asking price of $65,590 [source].  We'll save you the math -- that's a markup of $25,310 USD.  

We've been following the Volt since its days as a concept and we absolutely give GM praise for following through and delivering on its ambitious design.  That said we're not sure who would shell out an extra $25K for a Volt.  If current auctions are any indication, most people aren't interested in buying the vehicle at that high a price.  But if P.T. Barnum is to be believed, the dealer may eventually find someone out there who would be willing to pay that much for it.

Currently a third Volt auction ends Saturday on eBay [3].  That Volt, located in California, is offered for $47,700 USD, a markup of $7,420 USD.

GM will be building 60,000 or more Volts next year, so if you don't want to pay a markup, you could always wait.  

The company claims it isn't happy with the markups.  But Chevy Volt marketing director Tony DiSalle tells Ward's Auto in an interview, "there isn’t a mechanism to prevent that from happening."

Price markups are nothing new, but on EVs and hybrids they're an especially sore spot as customers already are paying a premium for the fuel-efficient technology.  

The Chevy Volt's price markups are similar to markups that some Toyota dealers were placing on Prius hybrid vehicles back in 2009, when the new third generation models first were shipping.  While the Prius markups were a bit subtler in that most Toyota dealers didn't blatantly post them to eBay, they were occurring nationwide.  We did a report on this practice and caught one dealer in the act.  While the 2010 Prius was a much higher volume vehicle, its similar respective demand per volume offers parallels to the Volt.

The Volt's key competitor is the 2011 Nissan LEAF EV, which went on sale in early December.  The Volt's key advantage is that it has a backup fuel take, greatly extending the range.  The 2011 Nissan LEAF EV is optimistically rated to deliver 100 miles on a charge under good conditions.  Another disadvantages is that Nissan is only selling and service LEAF EVs in a handful of "green" states -- California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Tennessee.

The LEAF's big advantage is that it is priced a $32,780 USD before tax credits in the U.S.  Nissan has been less specific about its production plans, but it says it will fulfill all reservations placed in 2010 by September.  Given that it claimed 20k reservations and that only 4 in 10 of those who placed reservations are reportedly following through with a purchase, this would indicate -- with the inclusion of conquest sales -- shipments of anywhere from 10,000-15,000 by the end of the summer.  This places Nissan's production slightly above GM's current levels.



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RE: following through???
By dubldwn on 2/17/2011 5:30:22 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The first full sized EV with a chance to go mainstream in the US!

1) The Volt is not full sized. This and the Cruze are compacts.
2) The Volt is not an EV, it is a hybrid
3) $40K cars do not go mainstream. $20k cars like the Cruze go mainstream


RE: following through???
By cmdrdredd on 2/17/11, Rating: 0
RE: following through???
By jharper12 on 2/17/2011 11:57:51 PM , Rating: 3
It's electric... what part of goes up to 50 miles on battery doesn't make sense to you? The generator is not part of the powertrain. Sure, there's a planetary gear set that can kick in over 70 miles an hour, but only because it makes the car 5 - 15% more efficient. What qualifies as an electric car to you? Something that only has batteries? For the sake of functionality I'm using a mouse with my netbook... is it no longer a netbook? My tv has webapps... I guess it isn't a tv anymore. The generator is a useful feature in an electric vehicle... get over it.


RE: following through???
By dubldwn on 2/18/2011 12:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
The definitions of electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, and hybrid electric vehicle have been resolved and are not subject to change. The Volt, like the Prius, is a hybrid. You do not get the designation “Electric Vehicle” if said vehicle can be propelled by an ICE. This is not a slight, nor is it minutia. It is recognition of the technology used.


RE: following through???
By Solandri on 2/18/2011 4:58:36 AM , Rating: 2
That naming taxonomy for electric vehicles, I'm sorry, vehicles which can run off electricity, ranks down there with USB hi-speed/full-speed and Microsoft trying to trademark "Windows" in terms of stupidity. It's like using "game" as a synonym for "football", then saying no other games can be called a "game", only football. If you want to talk about a basketball game with your co-workers, you cannot ask "did you see the game last night?" You have to ask "did you see the basketball game last night," because someone who wasn't thinking enshrined into law that "did you see the game last night?" must automatically mean a football game.

"Electric vehicle" should refer to all vehicles which can run off electricity, fully or partially. ZEV (zero emissions vehicle) or electric ZEV should refer to a vehicle which can only run off electricity and no other (emitting) power source. California got the terminology right in the '80s and '90s. Who screwed it up? If you pick stupid names which don't make common sense, you shouldn't be surprised when people consistently "misuse" them. For the sake of our future sanity, you'd better hope that you're wrong and these definitions are subject to change.


RE: following through???
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/18/2011 7:34:41 AM , Rating: 4
In that case, the Prius is an electric vehicle, since it can run off of electricity exclusively.

The Chevrolet Volt was originally touted as a Series Hybrid, but it is in fact a Parallel hybrid, as is the Prius. The only significant difference is the greater range of the batteries on the Volt, and its plug-in capability. When Toyota comes out with a plug-in Prius next model year, the two cars will be exactly the same in configuration, but the Volt will have a greater range on the battery charge, and the ICE will kick in at a higher speed to drive the wheels.

I think GM are still equivocating on the term EV, which ropes in a lot of suckers (see PT Barnum reference in article), but it is sadly just an overpriced plug-in parallel hybrid.


RE: following through???
By gregpet on 2/18/2011 1:40:49 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
In that case, the Prius is an electric vehicle, since it can run off of electricity exclusively.


Yeah, up to what, 15 MPH??? What an intellectually dishonest, stupid comment...


RE: following through???
By chick0n on 2/18/2011 1:44:10 AM , Rating: 1
I guess I can call my RC a EV too then. cuz oh yea it takes charge and can go up to 20 miles !

Its a god damn Hybrid, GM knows it, the government knows it. but of course since our country's ego is so f-king big we want to be #1 in everything, even we can't we have to be #2, no matter what kind of bullshit we can pull up, so yeah lets just call this a EV !

Nissan's Leaf, on the other hand, is a REAL EV.

That car looks ugly as shit and yeah its just an overpriced Cruze with as usual garbage GM component.

50K for a god damn Cruze? no Thank you Government Motors.


RE: following through???
By jharper12 on 2/18/2011 7:25:16 AM , Rating: 4
What the heck is wrong with you people! EVs are never going to have recharge times shorter than four hours in the near future! Here's the real deal, the EPA says the Leaf has a range of 73 miles, Nissan says the range varies from 47 to 138 miles. Once you're out of power, you're dead in the water. The Leaf requires 8 to 21 hours for a full recharge depending on what current you us, 110V or 240V. The Volt requires 4-8 hours. Meanwhile, for $8k more, you can have the Volt. The Volt also is all electric, but for an EPA estimated 35 miles, and GM claims 25 to 50 miles. It costs about $1.50 to recharge, significantly less than the Leaf, but will still take most people in the US to work and back. If that's not good enough, the Volt has a GENERATOR that keeps the batteries charged at around the 35% level so you're NEVER dead in the water. When the generator is running you get about 37 MPG. So, if you want to take your Volt on a 500 mile road trip, you can, and the MPGE (Equivalent, new EPA rating) would then be between 39.8 and 42.6. What do you get with the Leaf? Disappointed. This is a tech filled car that's being compared to luxury vehicles, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes Benz. It's quite as can be, even with the generator, because it's drag coefficient is incredibly low and they used tons of tech to keep it quite. It still has that 278lb/ft of torque for amazing take offs, and you can still go 100 MPH.

By the way, GM doubled their warranty in 2007 to 100k miles, since then their warranty claims are down 45%. Doubled their warranty (transferable) and claims have halved. If GMs components are garbage, why is it that the Volt warrantied it's battery pack for 8 year or 100k miles, and ONLY AFTER this did Nissan follow suit with their battery warranty. That's right folks, GM had more faith in their battery pack than Nissan did initially.

Bottom line for $8k more EVERYONE can use and enjoy the Volt, but only a select few will actually be able to replace their car with the Leaf. Basically people who will never need their car to go more than 50 miles away. Speaking of which, even if the range of the Leaf hits that 138 miles... who out there in their right mind is actually going to drive more than 50 miles away from home? Keeping in mind that once that battery dies, you're not going anywhere. NOBODY.

Last but not least, hybrid refers to the drivetrain! A hybrid drivetrain has a electric motor and ICE physically moving the car forward. The Volt is solely propelled by a motor, just like the Leaf, so calling it anything but an electric vehicle is asinine. Are you going to refer to the poor sap that starts carrying a generator around in his Leaf for emergencies as a hybrid car driver?!? No, idiot.


RE: following through???
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/18/2011 7:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
Feel better now? Next time, try decaffeinated.


RE: following through???
By jharper12 on 2/18/2011 7:44:43 AM , Rating: 2
Snappy reply, no substance. What's the matter, don't have anything real to say about my post? Next time try responding with a well thought out counterargument.


RE: following through???
By rikulus on 2/18/2011 8:57:05 AM , Rating: 2
I think he didn't say anything "real" about your rant because all of the points had been made several times in the posts above.

1. The Volt is absolutely, positively not solely propelled by electric motors with a generator as backup power only. That was the original announcement for the car, but then GM developed a fancy planetary gear so the ICE could assist directly in propulsion. GM thinks this is a better solution. Maybe it is. But it's pointless to fight that it is generator + electric motor only like a locomotive, because it is not.

2. To argue that $8k more and more weight, etc, is great because this car is more useful than the Leaf is silly. It's the same argument people give for driving their kids to school in a Suburban... someday I might need to pick up three wash machines at Home Depot - how will I fit that in a regular car?! I might need the volume some day. Yes, a Leaf driver might need greater range some day, but that doesn't mean they should buy a Volt. Lots of families have two cars, if one can be a Leaf to commute in and the other used for long trips, doesn't that make more sense than the extra price of the Volt? Even having to occasionally rent a car... $8k can go a long way in car rentals. And this all gets amplified if the Leaf is more efficient on electric than the Volt is due to weight or less complexity.


RE: following through???
By gregpet on 2/18/2011 1:44:53 PM , Rating: 2
The Leaf is a joke. I think Nissan has delivered like 25 cars since they introduced it (something that Dailytech has failed to report). The only reason that Nissan MAY be able to deliver all the cars that are on their waiting list this year is because so many people are RUNNING away from it...


RE: following through???
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 2/18/2011 10:28:16 AM , Rating: 2
Substance: The Volt is a plug-in parallel hybrid, nothing more. As such, it gets about 41 mpg based on electric range and gas range combined. Yawn.

It is not in the same class of vehicle as a Leaf. The Leaf is in the same class as the Tesla line, just less expensive.

The Volt is slightly more advanced than the current Prius technologically, but not as to fuel efficiency. When the plug-in Prius comes out next year, the Volt will still have longer battery-only range, but the Prius will have even higher MPG overall than its current 50 mpg. The Prius will also still cost much less. I think I said all this in the previous post.


RE: following through???
By gregpet on 2/18/2011 1:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm. The new Prius Plug-in won't cost "much" less. Toyota has already announced it will be in the mid $30's. And as you point out you get alot less range...


RE: following through???
By Keeir on 2/18/2011 1:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If GMs components are garbage, why is it that the Volt warrantied it's battery pack for 8 year or 100k miles, and ONLY AFTER this did Nissan follow suit with their battery warranty. That's right folks, GM had more faith in their battery pack than Nissan did initially.


Sadly this is not quite true. Since the Volt's ability to run additional miles after the battery is depleted means the state of the batteries affects the pollution the Volt will cause... the Volt and other Hybrids (yes the Volt is a Hybrid) are required by law to warranty the batteries for significantly longer time frames than a pure electric car (which with a dead battery still produces no pollution)

This is of course just one of the things that make a car like the Volt superior to using a full electric like the Leaf.

The thing that makes it superior in my mind, is that kWh for kWh of battery, the Volt is much better at reducing pollution. How? Well there are 24 kWh of battery in a Leaf (53 kWh in a Roadster) and 16 kWh in a Volt. That means for 2 Leafs, 3 Volts can be produced. For 1 Roadster, 3+ Volts can be produced. Since a Leaf/Roadster owner will need to use another car for long distance travel... and the Volt's battery can be recharged at the same rate as the Leaf/Roadster... the only times a Leaf or Roadster say gasoline over a Volt is when trip times between recharges is between 35-70 miles or 35-225 miles. Based on the 2001 survey... this is less than 10% of miles Americans drive.

If we think of an average driver using ~500 gallons of gasoline a year... the Volt will save over 400 gallons of that gas a year... a savings of 25 gallon per kWh. A Leaf might save 475 (25 being reserved for long distance travel)... but thats only 20 gallon per kWh saved.

Personally, if a really rich person wants to make a REAL green statement, they ought to take the 100,000 they might spend on a Roadster, buy a 50,000 Roadster and 3 Honda Insights that they give to people driving pre-2001 C- Segment Cars. Far more gasoline, pollution, etc would be saved from such a gesture at the same cost.


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