GM has just announced US pricing for its great green hope, the Chevy Volt. The part-electric, part-petrol, not-quite-hybrid car will have a list price of $41,000 (£26,300). Pricing in the UK, where the Chevy Volt will be known as the Vauxhall Ampera, is still to be confirmed.
The Volt, being a low-emissions vehicle, will qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit designed to encourage consumer uptake. This will reduce the car's asking price to a fairly reasonable $33,500 (£21,000). Assuming that price conversion is an indication of what the car will cost in the UK, it'd make the Volt nearly £2,000 cheaper than the high-end Toyota Prius, which retails for £22,960 in Britain.
Significantly, the Volt undercuts its all-electric rival, the Nissan Leaf, by almost £2,000. This should, we imagine, be enough to convince consumers the Volt is a better option. The car can run for around 40 miles on electrical power alone, and its on-board petrol motor can extend its range by a further 310 miles. The Leaf, in contrast, has a maximum range of 100 miles per charge, and a recharge time of 8 hours from a 200V outlet.
As if to reinforce its advantages over pure electric cars, the Volt's British cousin, the Vauxhall Ampera, recently broke the record for the longest single journey by an electric vehicle on British roads. On 22 June, Vauxhall gathered a group of specially selected drivers to take the car from its Luton HQ to its passenger car plant in Cheshire -- a journey of over 170 miles.
The first deliveries of the Volt are expected in 2011, though if you live in the US and fancy pre-ordering one now, you can register your interest at getmyvolt.com. In the meantime, don't forget to watch our video of the Vauxhall Ampera or, if you're into pure-electric motoring, take a look our list of the top ten electric cars.
Update: We've clarified how we compared the prices of each vehicle mentioned.