General Motors is trimming the price of the Chevrolet Volt by $5,000 as other makers of electrified units cut the tags of their offerings. This means that the 2014 Volt will have a starting price of $34,995, including an $810 destination fee, when it arrives at dealerships this month. After applying the $7,500 federal tax credit, the Volt will have an effective price of $27,495.
GM’s move was not surprising, especially that other carmakers have cut prices or sweetened lease deals on EVs and plug-in hybrids this year, leading to higher sales. For instance, Nissan trimmed the Leaf’s base price by $6,400, to $29,650, including shipping, in January 2013, resulting to a spike in the EV’s sales. Nissan more than tripled the sales of the Leaf in the first seven months of 2013 to 11,703 units.
Chevrolet, meanwhile, posted only a 9-percent surge in sales of the Volt in the same period 11,643. Ford likewise trimmed the price of its Focus Electric in July by $4,000, to $35,995 with shipping.
Carmakers have also started offering relatively cheap lease deals on EVs, like the identical $199-a-month offers on the Fiat 500e and Chevrolet Spark. Chevrolet sales chief Don Johnson said in a statement that GM has made "great strides" in cutting the production cost for the Volt. GM executives have remarked that they expect to trim the cost of the next-generation Volt by between $5,000 and $10,000. The next-generation will be due 2015.
According to GM, trimming the Volt’s price would boost interest in the unit as it is now aligned closer with comparable vehicles in research by online shoppers. GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho remarked that prior to the price cut, the Volt the Volt won’t show in price-shop searches for a hybrid or a plug-in because of price point. She said the Volt’s lower price should put the unit in more shoppers' search results.