Chevy Volt $41,000 or $350 per Month

By John Addison (7/27/10) reporting from Plugin 2010 Conference

The Volt can be lease for as low as $350 for 36 months, with $2,500 due at lease signing; it can be purchased starting at $41,000. Back-up camera, premium leather, paint, and wheel options can take the price to $45,000 and a higher lease rate. This compares with the Nissan LEAF price of $32,780 to $33,720, and lease of $349 to $379.

Nissan announced a new 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty for the LEAF, matching the Volt warranty.

Starting today, participating Chevrolet dealers in launch markets will begin taking customer orders for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt in California, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area.

Volt Costs $8,000 more than LEAF. How can they match lease?

To lower the lease rate to $350 per month, GM apparently is counting on capturing the $7,500 federal tax credit. Fair enough. Since the Volt costs $8,000 more than the LEAF, GM appears to be assuming a much higher residual value for the Volt. Some worry that those leasing could face a balloon payment at the end of the lease, or at least a high price to convert to a purchase. Recommended reading is Brad Berman’s article at PluginCars that discusses the low GM lease rate. GM’s Rob Peterson assures me that anyone ending a lease is very unlikely to face any balloon payment.

If you lease a Volt make sure that the dealer answers all your questions and consider getting financial advice. GM states that the lease, including security deposit based on current conditions, which could vary at time of delivery. The benefit of the $7,500 federal tax credit is included in the reduced lease payment, with the tax credit going to the lessor.  The Volt’s MSRP will start at $41,000 ($33,500 net of the full federal tax credit, which ranges from $0-$7,500) including a destination freight charge of $720. Customer deliveries of the Chevrolet Volt are scheduled to begin in launch markets late this year with initial production limited.

A Volt dealer locator will be available at . The dealer will begin the order process, which will be followed up by contact from a dedicated Volt advisor who will be available to answer any questions and keep the customer apprised of the progress of their order.

The Chevrolet Volt has a total driving range of about 340 miles and is powered by electricity at all times. For up to the first 40 miles, the Volt drives gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas powered range-extending engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 300 miles on a full tank.

While the Chevrolet Volt will come standard with a 120-volt charge cord that will provide owners with the ability to charge their Volt directly from a standard home electrical outlet. 4,400 Volt buyers in launch markets could be eligible for a free 240-volt charging station, including home installation.  The installations are part of a program developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to install approximately 15,000 240-volt home charging stations across the U.S.

Technologies Keep Volt Customers Connected

When it comes to advanced technology, Volt customers are on the leading edge. The 2011 Chevrolet Volt has standard technology features that link and entertain in innovative ways, starting with standard seven-inch touch screen navigation and an energy-efficient Bose premium audio system.

The Volt is the first GM vehicle to offer five years of OnStar Directions and Connections service, which includes Automatic Crash Response, stolen vehicle assistance and connected navigation, all standard.  Volt will expand on OnStar’s foundation of leading-edge safety and security technology through the introduction of an OnStar-enabled mobile app that connects the vehicle to the owner’s smartphone.

Volt owners will be provided outstanding battery and vehicle limited warranties. The Volt’s 16-kWh lithium-ion battery is covered by an industry-leading transferable warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles. In addition, Chevrolet will provide:

* 3-year / 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage
* 5-year / 100,000-mile roadside assistance and courtesy transportation
* 5-year/100,000-mile limited gas engine coverage
* 6-year/100,000-mile corrosion protection coverage

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About Author: John Addison

Founder of the Clean Fleet Report, author of Save Gas, Save the Planet. John writes about electric cars, renewable energy, and sustainability.

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