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GM President: Electric Car “Not Dead”

Reuss hopes to bring down price on Chevy Volt plug-in.

by on Jan.17, 2013

GM North American President Mark Reuss during an appearance at the plant producing the Chevrolet Volt.

Despite the slow start-up of sales, “The electric car is not dead,” General Motors President Mark Reuss insists, adding that the maker “couldn’t be happier” with its Chevrolet Volt despite the plug-in hybrid missing its sales target for the second year in a row.

During an appearance at an industry conference coinciding with the North American International Auto Show, Reuss insisted the maker is hoping to take “thousands” out of the cost of the next-generation Volt when it comes to market. Key rival Nissan earlier this week announced plans to introduce a new base version of its own Leaf battery-electric vehicle that will cost $6,000 less than the original model.

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“The electric car is not dead,” proclaimed Reuss, the head of GM’s core North American operations during the Automotive News World Congress, “despite what you might hear, and despite what you might read about Americans not being ready for it, or about it being ‘under attack’ by local governments retracting incentives for it.”


Chevy Begins Taking Orders for Volt in All 50 States

Price for 2012 model dropped to $39,995.

by on Jun.10, 2011

Chevy begins nationwide sales of the Volt - while also cutting the MSRP of the plug-in by $1,005.

Buyers waiting in places like Georgia and Illinois will now be able to place their orders for a Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid – and get rewarded for their wait with a $1,005 price cut.

After initially introducing the Volt in just eight so-called “launch markets,” General Motors is rolling out its high-tech halo car nationwide, reflecting both its confidence in the technology and the imminent increase in Volt production.

Introduced last December as a 2011 model, early adopters had to shell out $41,000 for the Volt, which Chevy prefers to call an extended-range electric vehicle, or E-REV.  (The distinction reflects the fact that Volt’s small inline-four gas engine is designed to primarily serve as a generator, once the batteries run down.  It only occasionally provides direct torque to help turn the wheels.)

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The new, $39,995 price tag – which includes destination charges – “is possible in part because of a wider range of options and configurations that come with the expansion of Volt production for sale nationally,” according to a GM release.

A source indicates the maker has also been able to drive down the price it is paying for Volt’s 16 kilowatt-hours of lithium-ion batteries, the single most costly part of the vehicle.


GM Looking to Cut Volt Production Costs

But a lower-priced Chevy battery car not on the horizon - yet - maker cautions.

by on Feb.02, 2011

Congress is looking at expanding the current $7,500 tax credit for advanced propulsion vehicles, like the Chevy Volt.

Even the latest news about Egypt got bumped to the back page as a “historic” blizzard bore down on the Eastern half of the U.S. yesterday, but one story made it through in many outlets: an equally breathless report that General Motors was developing a lower-cost version of the Chevrolet Volt.

The 4-seat plug-in hybrid has generated plenty of its own headlines, in recent months, capturing a series of kudos, including the much-sought honor of being named North American Car of the Year.  Still, at a base price of $41,000, the Chevy Volt is playing in rarified luxury car territory, rather than in the mainstream, like the similar, if conventionally-powered Chevrolet Cruze.  So, the idea of getting a significantly cheaper battery car would understandably make the evening news.

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Problem is, no such lower-priced version of the Volt is in the works, GM officials stressed to – even though they admit to aggressively trying to trim production costs.  And, eventually, the underlying technology could be shared with lower-priced model – with the emphasis on longer-term.

“We’re not recreating the Volt,” assured Rob Peterson, spokesman for GM’s electrification program.  “There’s no separate development process underway to develop a lower-cost Volt (though) there s an effort to reduce costs in time for the second-generation Volt.”