GM Backs Up 2011 Chevy Volt With 8-Year, 100K-Mile Warranty

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2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

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Today the silence ended.

We've driven the 2011 Chevy Volt Test Mule, We've cringed through the Volt Dance and we watched the Freedom Drive unfold over the July 4 weekend.

While we've known about the car's 40 mile all electric range, 9 gallon fuel tank and planned 10,000 car production schedule for this year, General Motors has kept quiet on its plans for the Volt's battery warranty.

GM announced today that along with its usual 5 year, 100,000 mile warranty on the 2011 Chevy Volt's 1.4 liter gasoline engine and 3 year, 36,000 mile general warranty it will offer an 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty on the car's electric drivetrain, battery pack and charger.

In other words, everything which makes GM's first electric vehicle since the crushed EV1 an electric vehicle will be covered for up to 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever is sooner.

This news will be welcomed by anyone looking to buy their first electric car, especially those concerned that the yet-to-be-confirmed $40,000 price of the 2011 Chevy Volt would depreciate quicker than a comparable-prized gasoline car.

The Volt's warranty is similar to those offered by Toyota on its 2011 Prius, levelling the playing field between the plug in extended range electric Volt and existing hybrids on the market.

Since most cars today easily cover more than 100,000 miles in an eight year period, just how long can you expect the Chevy Volt drivetrain and battery warranty to last in real life?

Let's give some examples.

Drive your Volt the equivalent of the 1,776 mile trip the Chevy Volt made during the "Freedom Drive" weekend every week and the Volt's warranty would run out in a year and a quarter.

Drive 600 miles per week, or 31,200 miles per year, the 100,000 mile warranty would run out in three years and four months.

For consumers travelling 400 miles per week, the warranty represents nearly five years of coverage.

But for those wanting to use the Volt as a daily commuter, driving 40 miles per weekday on electric power only, then driving an average of 100 miles per weekend, the warranty would last six and a half years.

GM have yet to announce the replacement cost of the 16 kWh T-shaped battery pack which is responsible for the 40 mile all-electric range of the 2011 Volt, but if the costs for a replacement battery for Toyota's Prius is anything to go by, it won't be particularly cheap.

2011 Chevrolet Volt in Waco, Texas, en route during the 1,776-mile Freedom Drive PR stunt

2011 Chevrolet Volt in Waco, Texas, en route during the 1,776-mile Freedom Drive PR stunt

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The 2011 Chevy Volt represents the best of both worlds. An EV round town and a car capable of making longer trips with the family at weekends.  It is not meant to be a long-distance cruiser.
For a daily driver covering around  20,000 miles a year, the 2011 Chevy Volt's warranty looks a great deal -- provided GM's final cost is kept in the $40,000 mark.

Expect Nissan's Warranty information to follow soon. We can't wait to see what coverage Nissan will offer on its 100-mile per charge, all electric hatchback.
Watch this space.

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Comments (10)
  1. Wow! That GM Volt Warranty is better than a poke in the eye with one of Kevin Garnett's elbows. Or a sharp stick.

  2. Not that bad - but may be a waste of resources. If they offer the possibility to have after-market adaptations of the battery size they could reach the desired life-time for their clients easier without restricting the usable energy per kg battery which keeps the vehicle weight high.

  3. It will be great for a while. You can bet the lost tax revenue (from fed and state gas taxes) will soon be added to your electric bill. The power companies are already saying that someone is going to have to pay for all the new power plants to charge these electric buggies.

  4. So the more you drive on gas, the shorter the battery warranty becomes?

  5. How long will Nissan continue to keep its Leaf warranty secret? As one on the Leaf reservation list, I will not place a firm order without this information.
    I ordered a Prius before they ever came to this country, but Toyota played it straight with us. I am getting very uncomfortable about the way that Nissan is handling the Leaf.

  6. i wouldnt suggest going any further with toyota being straight with its customers, unless you want to look like the laughing stock of the party.

  7. I contacted Nissan on the LEAF battery warranty yesterday. They said details will be out soon. I would place a bet that it will be simular if not better than the 8 years.

  8. Reguardless, I think that the lease is a better option for the LEAF.Just think what will be on the market in 3 years.

  9. why is leasing better ? because it is a new product, the improvements are gonna be more substantial, such that the salvage value will be less than it might otherwise be.
    i suspect that leasing is almost always more costly to the individual.

  10. If cost is not an issue, the Volt would be a good buy at $40,000. But when Ford is advertising the 2011 Fiesta with 40mpg for a paltry $13,000 starting price, it is going to be hard to ween people off gasoline, and even harder to get someone to pay $40K for a new American car. I tend to wait until the 3rd year when all the bugs are worked out of American cars.
    If you need an expensive toy to show you are proud to be environmentally friendly, then the Volt is a good choice, better than a gas guzzling convertible.

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