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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 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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