Cash rebates offered for Chevrolet Volt to boost sales

Article by Anita Panait, on June 12, 2013

In an effort to boost sales of its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, General Motors is offering cash rebates of $4,000 on the 2013 model and $5,000 on the 2012 model from June 3, 2013 to July 1, 2013. The rebates are in addition to a $7,500 federal tax credit and $1,500 state tax credit for California residents. GM is also leasing the Volt for a down of $2,399 and a monthly payment of $269 for 36 months.

 Volt suffered a 4-percent drop in sales in the United States in May 2013 to 1,607. This affected the volume for the first five months of 2013, which only surged 1 percent to 7,157 units compared with the same period in 2012. According to Edmunds.com, the average transaction price for the Volt was $40,236 in May 2013.

The incentive boost for the Volt comes amid price cuts and lease deals on rivals Nissan Leaf and Fiat 500e. In February 2013, Nissan trimmed the 2013 Leaf’s starting price by $6,400 to $29,650, including shipping. The average transaction price for the Leaf was $31,947 in May.

Don Johnson, Chevrolet’s vice president of U.S. sales, remarked that some of their rivals “have been pretty dramatic in their price reductions,” which may be causing some unnatural sales to their products. Nissan nearly triples its Leaf sales in the US in the first five months of 2013 to 7,614 units. On the other hand, incentives on the $32,500 Fiat 500e include the same monthly lease payment as the base 500 petrol models.

A customer could lease the 500e for $999 down and $199 per month for three years. As of June 1, 2013, dealers had a 162-day supply of the Volt, which is above ideal levels.  According to Chevrolet spokeswoman Michelle Malcho, one of the reasons for the new incentives is to sell off the remaining inventory of 2013 Volts to get ready for the 2014 model. In May 2013, Volt discounts averaged $5,780 per unit while the Leaf averaged $6,625, according to Edmunds.com.

Chevrolet Volt’s Voltec propulsion system uses a combination of pure electric drive and efficient, range-extending engine. Providing life into the Volt, the Voltec propulsion system increases the range to a total of 350 miles.

Supplying energy into an advanced, 111-kW (149 horsepower) electric drive unit is a long-life battery manufactured in Brownstown Township, Michigan. It is composed of a 5.5-foot, 435-pound (198.1 kg) T-shaped, 16-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which can propel the Volt between 25 to 50 miles of fuel- and tailpipe emissions-free electric driving (using its stored energy) – the range however, depends on the terrain, temperature and driving techniques as it may affect the car’s overall performance.

More than one million miles and four million hours of validation testing have been done on the Volt battery packs as well as each of its 9 modules and 288 prismatic cells since 2007. This is to ensure that the Volt battery is up to standards as per its value for money, safety, quality, performance, durability and reliability. All 161 components, 95 percent of which designed and engineered by General Motors, were validated and as for the development, validation and test teams, all of which have passed the thousands of specifications to ensure quality.

Since more and more people are becoming aware with the negative effects that our dependence on petroleum brings, Chevrolet backs them up by committing to develop an alternative technology built with the “highest standards for value, safety, quality, performance and reliability.” Once energy on the batteries are used up, the Chevrolet Volt switches to an extended-range mode where a technically advanced, 1.4-liter 63-kW (84-horsepower) gasoline-powered onboard engine inverts power providing up to an additional 310 miles of range to its electric drive unit.

When it comes to speed, the Volt is not your ordinary EV. It can actually reach a top speed of 100 mph while its electric drive unit produces a low speed torque of 273 lb.-ft. (368 Nm) taking a below 9.0-second sprint from 0 to 60 mph and covering a quarter mile below 17.0 seconds.

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