DOE to award up to $36M to support small-scale projects for drop-in biofuels and bioproducts
ASTM committee votes to approve biojet fuel in blends up to 50%; final issuance of spec expected by August

Chevrolet begins taking orders in all 50 US states for 2012 Volt; $1K drop in starting price

Chevrolet dealers in all 50 states in the US are now taking orders for the 2012 Chevrolet Volt. The suggested retail price for the Volt will start at $39,995 (or $32,495 assuming a full federal tax credit of $7,500, which is subject to the customer’s eligibility). The price includes an $850 destination freight charge but excludes tax, title and license fees. The starting price of the 2012 model is more than $1,000 below the 2011 base model.

The lower base price is possible in part because of a wider range of options and configurations that come with the expansion of Volt production for sale nationally, GM said. The 2011 model was available in just seven states and the District of Columbia. Chevrolet expects to build up to 45,000 Volts for retail and fleet customers in the United States during calendar year 2012.

For 2012, consumers will be able to choose from a total of seven option packages compared with only three for the 2011 model. A loaded Volt, with leather appointments, backup camera, navigation system and premium paint and wheels is priced at $46,265 including delivery ($38,765 net of full tax credit). The Volt will be available in two additional interior accents (white and spiced red) and two new exterior colors (Summit White and Blue Topaz Metallic).

New features for 2012 include:

  • Standard keyless access with passive locking; the car automatically locks and unlocks with the key fob in close proximity of vehicle.
  • OnStar Turn by Turn navigation standard for three years, and available in-dash navigation system.
  • Chevrolet MyLink including Bluetooth streaming audio for music and select phones (late availability).
  • Standard AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback and 7-inch diagonal color touch-screen display.
  • Available 17-inch sport alloy wheels with black inserts (late availability).

Chevrolet will continue to offer an eight-year/100,000-mile* limited warranty on the Volt’s 16 kWh lithium-ion battery, plus:

  • Three-year/36,000-mile* bumper-to-bumper coverage
  • Five-year/100,000-mile* roadside assistance and courtesy transportation
  • Five-year/100,000-mile* limited gas engine coverage
  • Six-year/100,000-mile* corrosion protection coverage.

The Volt offers a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe-emissions free using a full charge of electricity. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full change.

Comments

Stan Peterson

Even in its limited production, the VOLT has already outsold all the production of all the electric car makers combined, Tesla, Fisker, Think, Aptera, et cetera, with the exception of Chrysler's GEM division of NEV vehicles.

Toyota has sold more gasoline re-charging hybrids as has Ford, but these are dependent on gasoline derived elctrical generation, and are inherently only 1/3 the efficiency of the Volt's grid based electrical supplies.

Matthew D

This is not great news, necessarily.. What will the wait time be? Oh, wait...Waiting on it is not the problem IMHO...The REAL problem lies in trying to get a dealership to sell it to you without a huge markup. I am approved officially by Nissan to order a LEAF and I won't until a dealer makes a decent acceptance of price, like in some markets where the discount ranges from selling for STICKER price to as much as 7 (seven!!) percent under STICKER!!!

This does not make me want to even come close to a dealer who keeps saying, "We'll sell it to you for Sticker, and not a penny more"... Come on, I was not born yesterday...(Later, they try to get you to walk away due to unethical price negotiations since they don't provide you anything in writing per se... This allows them to sell what is called an "orphan Leaf" to John Q. Public at extra profit margins, since JQP doesn't have a reservation, and buys on impulse, and pays OVER STICKER PRICE before the salesman goes to call his "X number of people on his waiting list...) This makes the avg. sales price show up way too high via Edmunds, or whomever, and then those of us with a reservation are forced to cough up more because they say, "Well, the avg. price paid is X"...

I think there should be some kind of an investigation regarding this practice by Nissan Dealerships, most specifically, those who have Orphan leaf's (leaves?) for sale... Kinda makes you wonder, "Why did the original person who reserved not buy it from you?... If you know what I mean.

Just my two cents worth...

Letstakeawalk

@ Stan Peterson

Think has over 10,000 vehicles on the roads.

SJC

When you are building more than 40,000 Volts per year you would like to sell a lot of those loaded $46,265 models for higher margins.

Engineer-Poet

Some of those "features" are serious negatives. The keyless ignition system can be jammed by radio interference, and the car cannot be started or even opened. OnStar is effectively a surveillance system.

kelly

" The keyless ignition system can be jammed by radio interference, and the car cannot be started or even opened. OnStar is effectively a surveillance system." E-P, don't let this get around.

ToppaTom

"The lower base price is possible in part because of a wider range of options and configurations that come with the expansion of Volt production for sale nationally, GM said."
Cut the BS.

A wider option range increases unit cost; more sales reduce unit cost.

If you put a deposit down on a Leaf, why did it not have a guaranteed price?

If you did not put down a deposit AND get a fixed price, why do you think you get to determine the price?

I suspect the Volt, at $40k is selling cuz it's hard to get.
It's a great $20-$25k car; I am sure we will all really miss Rick Wagoner.

Reel$$

Edmonds.com reports more than 150 - 2010 model year vehicles offer keyless ignition. And any cell phone with a GPS chip is a surveillance system. We hate Big Brother eh?

Kinda miss Lutz. He is a character.

wintermane2000

As someone who grew up being watched by the government all the time I always laugh at people being spooked at the thought of being watched.

Herm

" I am approved officially by Nissan to order a LEAF and I won't until a dealer makes a decent acceptance of price, like in some markets where the discount ranges from selling for STICKER price to as much as 7 (seven!!) percent under STICKER!!!"

Matthew, what nonsense are you talking about?.. just look around until you find that dealer, they cant order a Leaf without your reservation number anyways.. you have the dealer over a barrel.

TM

I suppose they loaded up the volt so the battery price would be a lower percentage of the overall cost. If I could get a volt vs a Tesla model S, I'm not sure which I'd pick.

The Leaf, for $25,000, is just way too much money for a commuter car.

The prices of all of these (volt, model S, leaf) are just way too high to sell more than a handful a year (10K each is a drop in the bucket). I applaud the early adapters who will buy these and finance the company's efforts to gain experience building these, while battery prices come down, and in turn the overall car prices.

After owning a Prius for several years, I've come quite accustomed to keyless entry, and find it quite annoying when I drive my other car and have to pull out the archaic "key".

SJC

Fisker is suppose to deliver next month after long delays, but they have said that before. They want to make a smaller more affordable model, I hope they succeed.

ToppaTom

I think that the trickle of EVs from the auto industry is not a big driver in advancing the state of the art.

Such perceptions are, I think mostly wishful thinking.

Batteries seem to be improving at no more (in fact less) than was expected years ago.

Just like:
Tuning an ICE for operation at its sweet spot makes a big improvement in efficiency (no, just run slow, near WOT).
Or
Just go into mass production, the cost will drop way down.
Or
Detroit has switched to making the cars people want.

These are mostly what we WANT to believe.

I believe that the EV1 did little for the advancement EVs and simply showed that conspiracy theorists and ill informed but dedicated people can actually affect public perception and policy.

The Prius is an excellent and historic car, and a way more rational choice than a Ferrari, Corvette, MB, Hummer etc, but not necessarily the BEST way to reduce cost of ownership. The smart money says buy an equivalent small car (or a used car).

The Prius has class, a bit like a Corvette, MB, Hummer etc. just different kind of class - and way more economical.

SJC

I think the EV1 did contribute, they had 100 mile range with NiMH more than 10 years ago. It provided the needed proof that this is COULD be done.

ToppaTom

But it was easy to make a 2 place EV with a 100 mi range 10 years ago.
Just keep adding batteries until the kWHrs/lb gets you 100 miles.

Will it be affordable to manufacture
Desirable?
Practical overall for the price?

Was the EV1 affordable and practical?

Every auto maker in the world (including GM) said no.
A comparative handfull of geeks said yes.

Who to believe?

Reel$$

Toppa, lots more geeks seem to believe today. Including engineer and marketing people at 8 or 9 major automakers. We should be pleased to see former nemesis and all around gaia hater, GM producing and selling and award winning (Green Car of the Year) EREV in all 50 States.

Isn't this what we have been banging the drum for for the last ten years?? Nissan, Chevy Volt, Tesla and soon Ford and Fisker are making electric drive passenger vehicles for mass market sale.

We think that's a good thing.

ToppaTom

Of course it's a good thing; it's a great and exciting thing.

The Volt is an exciting car.

But the rooster crowing and the drum banging is not what is bringing the dawn of the truly affordable EV. Science and engineering advances are.

The next few years will see EVs bloom (of course we have said this before, but they ARE much closer).

But there IS a difference between 2003 and today.

The difference is 8 years.

Science and engineering are not static.

Advances are made across many technologies and this synergism is what will bring us EVs of various types with much lower well (or solar, wind..) to wheels consumption.

What was not practical in 2003 may be today, even if only 8 or 9 major automakers think so.

SJC

Lots of people buy two seaters, there is a market there. Now you take one and get it off oil all together and it performs. The EV1 was affordable and practical for many drivers using batteries available at the time.

Just because the EV1 was not a car for everyone does not make it irrelevant. They would have sold enough to make it profitable, but they went back to making large SUVs until gas went to $4 per gallon.

ToppaTom

Few people buy two seaters, expensive EVs no less; there was no market there.
If there was, why was there no product?

And now, after 10 years, 8 or 9 major automakers are making token volumes of 4 and 5 seat EVs.

No repectable manufacturer in the WORLD thought the EV1 concept was affordable or practical or profitable at the time.

What kind of logic says it was, when the whole world of automakers shunned it.

No logic, just wishful thinking.

SJC

You see two seat autos on the road all over the place. Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Mazda and many others make them and they would not if they did not sell well.

The fact that you can make them HEV/PHEV/EV and they have good performance says that it can be done and people will buy them, look at Tesla and their roadster, Honda with the CRZ and so on.

ToppaTom

And we saw virtually no 2 seat OR 4 seat electric autos on the highway before 2010, because they would not sell well.

No EV1 copies, because everyone with any significant auto making ability knew they would not sell well. Dreamers can say otherwise, about all sorts of foolishness, and they do, but it’s just talk.

The fact that they did not make them shows that the experts (the auto makers, old and new) believed they had inadequate performance for the money.

No visionaries or dreamers have produced anything like the EV1 and made it visible in the market place.

Tesla's roadster is so far not relevant, 10 years after the EV1. The handful of Honda CRZs and 2 place Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Mazda and so on, are conventional (affordable, non-electric) and are still not relevant. If they are “all over the place”, they are all over someplace else (but still ICE powered).

Engineer-Poet

The problem isn't technology but policy. The EV1 could have been an EREV if policy hadn't classed EREVs with ICEVs. It probably could have been a 4-seater, too. Eliminating most operating transients and a good number of engine starts (for short trips) would have accomplished many of the emissions-related goals of the regulations, without attempting to mandate the creation of battery technology by fiat.

Given the repeated failures in this area, I suspect that the policies were deliberately written to fail.

SJC

The EV1 had a range extender model, it did not go into production. The original Honda Insight was sold from 2000-2006 it was a two seater and it sold in the thousands. This was still being sold years after GM started crushing EV1s.

The point I am making is that there is a two seat car market, no one can dispute that. There is a hybrid market, no one can dispute that. If there is an EV market then it makes sense that there would be a two seat EV market. There WAS a two seat EV and it was called the EV1.

ToppaTom

There WAS.

SJC

And there probably will be again...stay tuned.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)