General Motors has announced that the price on the popular Chevrolet Volt, an electric car, in order to encourage people to purchase the plug-in hybrid in an automotive segment that is still struggling to gain a solid foundation in the U.S. auto market.
Beginning with the 2014 model year, the price will fall to $34,995, which will include delivery fees before federal tax credits. With the tax credit, the price could actually fall as low as $27,495.
In a statement issued by Chevrolet, U.S. Vice President for Chevy Sales Don Johnson said, “We have made great strides reducing costs as we gain experience with electric vehicles and their components.”
While GM did not quantify the cost savings for the 2014 model, they have said the next version of the vehicle, which is due out in 2015, will cost $7,000 to $10,000 less. The 2014 models will begin arriving at Chevy dealers later in August.
The 2014 Volt will offer the equivalent fuel economy of 98 miles per gallon on electric power and 40 miles per gallon when powered by its gasoline engine. The car can drive about 40 miles on its electric charge, with 380 miles total driving range.
In addition, several other automakers have dropped prices on their electric cars to help overcome consumer concerns about high costs and fears about driving range. Many automakers are pushing to make technological advances in an effort to make the vehicles become a bigger seller as fuel-efficiency requirements continue to rise around the globe.
Through July of this year, the sales of electric vehicles in the United States had more than doubled from last year’s totals, reaching about 49,000 vehicles according to www.hybridcars.com. However, despite the increase, that accounts for only about .54 percent of the overall automotive market.
In that same time period, Volt sales saw a 9 percent increase to 11,643 vehicles. GM cut the price of the 2013 Volt by $5,000 to help boost the demand and in May it launched another electric vehicle, the Chevy Spark. The Spark had a starting price of $27,495, which is lower than expected. GM is offering discounted leases on both cars, the Volt and the Spark.
The price drop on the Volt is an attempt to seize the “greenest automaker in the world” title from Toyota, which makes two versions of the Prius, a hybrid and a plug-in.
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