It's official: General Motors has priced the 2011 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid with a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $41,000 (including a $725 destination fee), and customers in six select launch markets can begin placing orders with dealers later today.
That figure is close to the $40,000 figure previously (and repeatedly) touted by GM officials over the course of the development. It should be noted that the figure does not include any tax incentives -- applying the U.S. federal tax credit will whittle $7500 from the purchase price, although the credit doesn't work like a conventional rebate or incentive. Depending on their location, buyers may be able to eke additional tax credits from a state or municipal level. The variety in incentives may drive GM to tout the lease pricing for the Volt in national ad campaigns. GM revealed a 36-month lease for the 2011 Volt will run customers nearly $350 a month with $2500 down -- nearly identical to the lease program offered for the 2011 Nissan Leaf, despite an $8200 difference in MSRP. Joel Ewanick, GM's vice president of marketing, insists the company isn't eating its hat with those figures -- the federal credit is factored into the monthly payment, and consumer demand, limited initial volumes, and extended electrical powertrain warranties are expected to bolster residual values. So, what does $41,000 buy? As we reported yesterday, a base Volt is already loaded with a number of goodies. All 2011 Volts will be equipped with a Bose sound system, navigation, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and five years of OnStar service as standard equipment. Options are limited to polished 17-inch wheels, three premium paint colors, a premium interior trim package, and a rear-view camera with sonar parking aids. With the exception of the first 4400 Volt buyers, a 240-volt charging station will be an optional extra, although a 120-volt charging cord will be standard equipment. Although GM has yet to establish a precise timeframe for production (we're told the first customer cars will roll off the assembly line by the end of 2010), customers in the six initial launch markets -- California, Connecticut, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington D.C. -- can begin to place orders for Volts later today. Customers will need to make contact with a dealer carrying the Volt (thus far, there are 600), but they'll ultimately be able to keep complete tabs on the order's status by visiting www.getmyvolt.com.
Live outside of those markets, but really, really, really want to get a Volt? Ewanick says it is possible to order a car from one of the launch areas, but you'll quickly hit two hurdles: the car can only be delivered to launch dealers, and that attractive lease pricing will only be offered to customers living within the launch markets.