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.
When it comes to the Chevrolet Volt, there is no doubt that at the core is the Voltec propulsion system. This system allows the Volt to get a total range of 350 miles by using a pure electric drive and then combining it with a range-extending and efficient engine. Powering the electric drive is the long-life battery which has the T-shaped lithium-ion battery that weighs 198.1 kg (435 lbs.), measures 5.5 feet and delivers 16 kWh. This battery has been designed in order to offer the best when it comes to performance, reliability, quality, durability, safety, and value.
It is this battery that brings the needed energy to the innovative electric drive unit (111 kW/149 hp) in order to make the vehicle move. While there are a number of factors to consider like the temperature, driving skill, and terrain, the Volt can drive emission-free from 25 miles to 50 miles when powered solely by the battery. The battery also helps prove that electric driving can be energetic as well.
With the battery, the Volt can achieve a maximum speed of 100 mph and with the 273 lb.-ft. (368 Nm) torque available at low speed, acceleration from standstill up to 60 mph is possible in less than 9.0 seconds. Through the battery, the Volt can even go from 0 to a quarter mile in under 17.0 seconds. Once the energy inside the battery is completely drained, the propulsion system shifts effortlessly to the Volt’s extended-range mode where the power is now supplied by the gas-powered 1.4-liter engine (63 kW/84 hp).
The gas engine ensures that the Volt gets extra range of 310 miles. Further, recharging the Volt is both natural and easy. The charging process can be done by using the 120-volt standard electrical outlets found at home and complete recharge can be finished within 10 hours and up to 12 hours. This process is also possible through a 240-volt dedicated charging station that takes merely 4 hours for a complete recharge.
Even if the vehicle has been plugged in, the charging can be scheduled to occur immediately or it may even be delayed. The charging time can be synchronized to match the departure time or to start when the power rates go down. Charging or recharging the battery can even be done remotely through MyVolt.com or the all-exclusive smart phone application which is the OnStar MyLink powered Chevrolet Mobile App.
To make sure that the battery packs work effectively and that the nine modules of each pack as well as the 288 prismatic cells are functioning as well, engineers working at GM made sure that all components would undergo validation testing amounting to 4 million hours and 1 million miles. In addition, considering that 95% of the 161 components were designed and later engineered at GM, the development, test, and even the validation teams, made sure to meet and validate all of the specifications. As a guarantee, the battery comes with a 100,000-mile and 8-year warranty.
According to GM executive director for global electrical systems Micky Bly, there is a need to lower reliance on petroleum and this why customers are committed to using technology that can help achieve that. This is why, he added, the company is dedicated to giving customers the highest standards when it comes to attributes like reliability, safety, performance, quality, and value. The battery is manufactured at the company’s facility located in Brownstown Township, Michigan.