The Chevy Volt, GM's much-hyped extended-range electric vehicle, has been plagued by rumored production problems since it was first announced. But now, finally, it looks like the car is ready for release at a price of $41,000 ($33,500 after a $7,500 federal tax credit). GM is also offering a lease program with monthly payments of $350, based on a 36-month term lease and $2,500 down. That also includes a lease-to-buy option.
It's not a bad deal for the vehicle, which can squeeze out 340 miles on a single tank of fuel and a fully-charged battery (the first 40 miles are powered by electric drive). GM also recently announced an eight year, 100,000 mile warranty for all 161 battery components--a longer warranty than any other electric vehicle manufacturer has promised thus far.
The Volt is still pricier than Nissan's upcoming all-electric Leaf, set to go on sale for $32,780 when it is released in November. But unlike the Volt, the Leaf doesn't contain a gasoline engine--it relies solely on electric vehicle charging stations. So in reality, the two vehicles may not even appeal to the same customers. Those who still want the comfort of a gas engine will opt for the Volt, while customers ready to take the plunge into all-electric cars will go for the Leaf. We'll know for sure which option is most appealing by this time next year.