Industry analysts have given a cautious welcome to the Volt's pricing

Industry analysts have given a cautious welcome to General Motors’ pricing of the Volt range-extender hybrid.

The Chevrolet will go on sale in the US at the end of the year costing from $41,000 (£25,700).

Read Autocar's first drive of the Chevrolet Volt

Confirmed late last week, the price tag is broadly in line with expected figures — although some had predicted that it would fall slightly in response to the arrival of the Nissan Leaf, which will cost American buyers around $9000 (£5775) less.

Government-backed tax incentives could reduce the cost of the Volt to around $33,500 (£21,500). But industry analysts believe that the price of leasing will prove more important to the car’s success or failure.

Read about the rapid increase in Volt production

Both the Volt and Leaf will cost about $350 (£225) per month with tax incentives taken into account, a figure that puts the cars into the near-luxury segment.

Joe Philippi of AutoTrends Consulting said GM’s figure is realistic. “If they execute Volt as well as other recent GM offerings they’ll be fine,” he commented.

The Volt faces another disadvantage in California, which is likely to be one of its key markets.

The state’s Air Resource Board has been promoting alternative power by giving certain models access to motorway commuter lanes, but plug-in range extenders like the Volt don’t qualify.

The High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) passes will be offered to all-electric cars such as the Leaf and some alternative fuel cars, including Honda’s natural gas Civic and hydrogen-fuelled FCX Clarity.

But Volt buyers won’t be able to get the pass, which can be as attractive an incentive as the $5000 (£3200) cash that California will also offer Leaf owners.

Old-style hybrids such as the Toyota Prius will also be excluded from HOV status from late this year.

Tony Posawatz, manager of the Volt programme, said he was disappointed with the Californian situation. But he insisted, “It won’t have trouble selling.”

GM also plans minor changes to the Volt’s exhaust system within a year of launch, in a bid to earn HOV status.

GM has yet to announce any UK pricing for the Volt, which is due on sale here in spring 2012. But insiders say it’s likely to cost just shy of £30,000.

Paul Eisenstein

See all the latest Chevrolet Volt reviews, news and video

Our Verdict

Chevrolet Volt
The handsome Volt uses a petrol engine to charge the car's battery once it is flat

The Chevrolet Volt is an extended-range vehicle with an electric motor and a 1.4-litre petrol engine, and it makes the electric car viable for the masses

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Comments
5

6 August 2010

Hmm the Leaf is a lot cheaper in America even though our ones will be made in the UK, and even after £5k has been taken off the UK list price.

grumble...

anyway they are welcome to it. i totally support zero emissions tailpipe cars. 100%.

pollution for me is on a street by street level. pollution from a factory/power station is largely irrelevant.


6 August 2010

[quote Autocar]The Chevrolet will go on sale in the US at the end of the year costing from $41,000 [/quote]

That's before the $20,000 markup the dealers will be loading on it (check Google). $61,000 puts it just short of M3 money. I'm sure Cameron Diaz and the like will be snapping them up but for the rest of us, no way.

6 August 2010

You can lease a car worth £25k for £250 a month in the States, that's more shocking to me - in the UK it'll be twice as much...

6 August 2010

I know that I’ve said this before, but what I would like to know is what is the total environmental impact of these new electric/hybrid cars? What I would like to see is a tabulated comparison between all cars showing their total environmental impart, including manufacturing processes and extraction or generation processes, over a 15 year/ 150,000 mile life span. Everyone is automatically assuming that the new hybrid/electric cars are less environmentally damaging. My gut feeling is that these electric/hybrid cars might actually be more environmentally damaging than petrol and diesel ones.

6 August 2010

[quote weenedonpetrol]I know that I’ve said this before, but what I would like to know is what is the total environmental impact of these new electric/hybrid cars? What I would like to see is a tabulated comparison between all cars showing their total environmental impart[/quote] It's been asked, countless times. It's been done, countless times. Google is your friend. And over a 15 year/150k mile life span, your gut is definitely wrong.

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