Detailed Price Information for Chevy Volt
The Chevy Volt took the better part of four years to develop, but it was worth the wait given that it's the world's first mass-market extended range electric vehicle. Starting at just above $39,000—and topping out around $45,000—the Volt could be out of the price range of the average car shopper. But as with most plug-in vehicles, the Volt qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit—which you can claim on your federal income taxes if you purchase the vehicle yourself. But you will only qualify for the entire credit if you have a tax liability more than that amount.
The Volt is also available as a lease for $350 a month for 3 years with a $2,500 down payment. Even better lease have been available throughout 2012.
One of the main reasons the lease is relatively reasonable given the considerable purchase price is that when you lease the vehicle, G.M. is able to use the entire $7,500 tax credit as an additional down payment on the lease and then can claim the tax credit themselves. In addition to the federal tax credit, many states offer additional lucrative incentives—including state tax credits, instant cash rebates, carpool lane access, and special parking privileges.
With a fully charged battery, the Volt can travel about 35 miles on electricity alone. As with all cars running on electricity and an electric motor, the Volt's operating cost per mile can be several times lower than a comparable vehicle powered solely by a combustion engine. Using the U.S. average electricity price of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, the Volt will cost approximately 3-4 cents per mile to operate when running on electricity. Electricity prices are incredibly variable around the country and world, so you'll want to do your own calculations depending on where you live.
Despite a higher sticker price, Kelly Blue Book reported that the Chevy Volt is cheaper to own than the all-electric Nissan LEAF.
The Volt can also use its gas engine to create electricity to drive the electric motors on the fly. The engine can also be connected directly to the wheels in some rare cases. When driving on gasoline power, the Volt returns an estimated 37 miles per gallon. If you drive less than 35 miles a day, or have access to public charging during your daily drive, you might rarely use gasoline in the Volt. If you have a longer commute, the cost for those "charge-sustained" miles will compare to the most efficient cars on the road, excluding the highest-mpg hybrids, like the Toyota Prius (which run on gasoline for nearly all of its miles).
The Volt's doesn't currently have any extended range electric vehicle competition, but sticker prices for vehicles like the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and the Ford C-Max Energi are thousands of dollars lower. Yet, those vehicles qualify for smaller tax incentive packages. And those vehicles do not travel as far purely on electricity as the Volt does. Therefore, plug-in hybrid buyers will have to employ a calculator to make a comparison of the final net purchase price—as well as the typical number of miles traveled to see where upfront purchase prices and fuel costs intersect. Comparisons between the Volt and the conventional Toyota Prius are also recommended.
NADA Guide lists the average trade-in value for a typically equipped 2011 Chevy Volt at $29,325—90 percent of its after-credit sticker price of $32,780.