The Chevrolet Volt will cost $40,000, General Motor’s product supremo Bob Lutz has announced.
GM will lose money on each one when they go on sale in 2010, because the hybrid drive behind the revolutionary Volt has cost so much to research, develop and engineer.
Lutz is convinced that developing cars like the Volt is the way forward and that future generations of these cars will become popular. "We believe profoundly in the electrification of the automobile," he said.
It was a mistake for GM not to build hybrid vehicles earlier, Lutz also admitted. Even though these cars make no instant profit, companies envy the positive publicity that hybrids have afforded Toyota. GM is confident about the 2010 launch of the Volt, and Lutz added robustly: “For the first time, our well-thought-of Asian competitors will be left in the dust.”
The Volt was originally pitched ot the public with a $30,000 price tag, and that may still be achievable in some US states where green tax incentives could reduce the asking price.
Unlike Toyota’s hybrid cars, the Volt runs for 40 miles on electricity alone before a frugal, constant-speed engine kicks in to recharge the batteries.
Market trends reveal that US consumers are starting to abandon their large, thirsty SUVs as petrol prices top $4 per gallon across the nation.