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.