GM prices Volt at $41,000, will tout EV as a 'real car'
Chrissie Thompson July 27, 2010 - 12:01 am ET
UPDATED: 7/27/10 1:56 p.m. ET
DETROIT -- General Motors Co. has priced its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid
at $41,000, including a shipping fee, and plans to tell consumers that the
cost covers a peace of mind that's missing from other electric vehicles.
The price of the Volt, which debuts in October or November, compares with
the $32,780 that Nissan wants for its Leaf electric vehicle, which goes on
sale in December. Buyers of both cars are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax
GM says the Volt can travel as far as 40 miles on battery power before it
switches to its gasoline-powered engine. The Leaf is an all-electric vehicle
advertised as having an estimated 100-mile range before drivers need to
GM's research and its experience with the EV1 electric vehicle in the 1990s
indicate that customers interested in electric vehicles also want the peace
of mind provided by the Volt's onboard engine, U.S. marketing chief Joel
Ewanick said today on a conference call with reporters.
"Our strategy will be, 'It's more car than electric,' " Ewanick said.
"They're looking for a real car. They're looking for a car that will meet
their transportation needs, that gives them no anxiety. .
"You can drive it across the country without having to recharge, and our
competition can't do that."
Despite the Volt's higher suggested retail price, GM most often will lead
Volt advertising with its lease deal -- $350 a month for 36 months after a
$2,500 down payment, Ewanick said. That compares with the Leaf's $349 a
month for 36 months after $1,999 down.
The Volt can offer a competitive lease because of high residual values
stemming from outsized demand and the 8-year/100,000-mile warranty on its
lithium ion battery system, said Ewanick, who left Nissan North America in
May to join GM.
The lease is only available for residents of zip codes in launch markets, he
said, although any customer can pay cash for a Volt from a participating
dealer. GM will initially launch the Volt in California; Michigan; New York
City; Austin, Texas; and Washington, D.C.
Volt sales will expand to New Jersey, Connecticut and the rest of Texas and
New York by mid-2011, with about 600 participating dealers at that time,
Ewanick and other Volt executives also provided these ordering and pricing
details during the call:
. A Web site, www.getmyvolt.com, now allows consumers to find dealers
approved to sell the Volt and directs them to a 24/7 Volt hotline:
1-888-VOLT-4-YOU. Dealers start taking orders today, and once a Volt order
is in the system, GM will call the buyer. The automaker will also contact
the customer once that person's order is up for production.
. The Web site will also allow buyers to track the status of their order.
Chevrolet will launch a similar order-tracking Web site in the fall in an
attempt to address consumers' dissatisfaction with recent vehicle shortages,
such as for the Chevrolet Equinox.
. The base-model Volt includes five years of OnStar, Bluetooth and a cord to
charge a Volt in a 120-volt outlet. Only four options are available: a
premium trim package that includes leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering
wheel and heated seats; a rear-camera and park-assist package; polished
aluminum wheels instead of painted ones; and more paint choices. Choosing
all those options would take the vehicle's cost to $44,600 before any tax
2011 Chevrolet Volt standard equipment and available options
Antenna, roof-mounted Air bags, dual-stage frontal, side impact and knee for
driver and front passenger. Roof-rail side-impact for front and rear
outboard seating positions. Includes Passenger Sensing System
Daytime Running Lamps, LED Air Conditioning, single-zone automatic climate
Glass, solar absorbing, windshield Assist handles, two rear outboard with
rear coat hooks
Headlamps, bi-functional halogen projector with automatic exterior lamp
control Audio system with navigation, AM/FM stereo with DVD-ROM and MP3
playback capability. Includes voice recognition, Radio Data System (RDS) and
Lamp, LED center high-mounted stop/brake (CHMSL) Audio system feature,
energy efficient Bose premium speaker system with six speakers and subwoofer
Mirrors, outside heated power-adjustable, body-color, manual-folding with
integrated turn signal indicators Audio system feature, auxiliary input jack
Pedestrian friendly alert, driver activated horn chirp using turn signal
lever Audio interface, USB port
Spoiler, rear Hard drive, 30 GB of audio storage data
Tire Inflation Kit XM Radio, requires a subscription after 3 months
Tires, P215/55R17 all-season, Goodyear Fuel Max, low-rolling resistance XM
NavTraffic/Weather, requires a subscription after 3 months
Wheels, 17-inch, five- (5) spoke forged painted aluminum Bluetooth, personal
cell phone connectivity to vehicle audio system
Wipers, front intermittent, variable, flat blade, washers Cargo Cover
Console, center, covered storage bin with dual cup holders
Console, rear, open storage bin with dual cup holders
Controls, center, touch-sensitive
Driver mode control switch - Normal, Sport and Mountain modes
Cruise Control, electronic with set and resume speed, steering wheel
Defogger, rear window, electric
Display, center, seven-inch high-resolution LCD touch screen
Door locks, power programmable with delayed locking feature and lockout
Door locks, rear child security, power
Floor mats, carpeted front and rear
Instrumentation, seven-inch reconfigurable LCD screen. Includes Driver
Information Center, compass and efficiency gauge
Keyless ignition, engaged with push button start
LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for Children), for child seat
mounting in rear
Lighting, interior, ambient LED-based, front reading lamps, dome and cargo
Map pockets, driver and front passenger seatbacks
Mirror, inside rearview manual day/night
Mobile application, Chevrolet Connect, powered by OnStar requires
OnStar, 5 years of Directions and Connections plan with security features,
Turn-by-Turn navigation and Flexible Computing Platform for over the air
"flash" programming. Service fee required.
Power outlets, three (3) auxiliary, 12-volt, positioned in front console,
rear console and upper instrument panel storage bin
Parking Assist, front and rear, Ultrasonic. Included with Rear Camera and
Park Assist Package Door trim, premium with layered graphics
Wheels, 17-inch, five- (5) spoke forged polished aluminum