2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

 Coming shortly after the Chevrolet's announcement about the 2011 Volt's 8 year, 100,000-mile battery warranty, GM has now announced the price for their range-extended EV.

The Volt's MSRP will be $41,000. GM have also announced the three-year lease price for the Volt. At $350, with a $2,500 down payment, leasing the Volt will set you back only a dollar more than the 2011 Nissan Leaf despite that car costing over $8,000 less.

The lease price includes the $7,500 Federal electric-vehicle tax credit. When taking the tax credit into account, the Volt will cost only $33,500. Some states and localities are offering further discounts - Oregon will offer a further $1,500 off and Georgia a generous $5,000. California won't though, as their $5,000 discount will only be available on the Leaf.

You'll be able to specify a few options on your Volt too, though Chevrolet is keen to point out that the Volt comes well equipped in the first place, including eight airbags, Bluetooth, and five years of Onstar's "directions and connections" service.

The only options will be a premium trim package giving you leather trimmed seats and steering wheel, a back-up camera and park assist package, premium polished wheels, and three extra-cost paint colours. If you feel like ticking all the boxes, you'll pay $44,600 for your plug-in Chevrolet.

Although the Volt is more expensive than it's apparent closest competitor, the 2011 Nissan Leaf, this difference can be explained by the difference in technology. Whilst the Leaf is a full electric car and therefore manages around 100 miles before a recharge, the Volt benefits from a range-extending gasoline engine, adding 300 miles to the battery-powered range. This could be the perfect solution to those who want an electric car but can't quite get over the "range anxiety" issues.

That 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty on the Volt's electric components will also put buyers' minds at ease, though this is something Nissan have now matched with the Leaf.

And how can Chevrolet offer the Volt at such a reasonable price? GM's vice president of U.S. marketing, Joel Ewanick, puts this down to the Volt's expected residual values, which should be kept high by demand exceeding supply for the first couple of years - Chevy will only be building 10,000 cars in 2011 and a further 30,000 in 2012. That impressive warranty deal also plays a part in the expected retained value.

The first Volts will arrive at dealerships in November, with California getting the car first, with New York-New Jersey-Connecticut following, then Washington, D.C., Michigan and Texas.

It remains to be seen whether potential Volt owners will join their Leaf counterparts and lease rather than buy, especially since the lease price of the Volt is such a good deal considering the higher purchase price. It certainly seems like one of the best routes into electric car ownership - allowing you to effectively dip your toe in the water rather than diving head-first into the world of EVs.

Whether you want to lease or buy, you can register your interest for the car at GetMyVolt.com where you'll then be directed to call, e-mail or visit your nearest Volt-certified Chevrolet dealer to discuss your order with a Volt Specialist.

[Chevrolet via Green Car Reports]