Have to admit — we didn’t see this one coming! We knew that the 2014 Chevy Volt had only minor updates. And everyone knows that the Volt has fallen behind the Nissan Leaf since the Leaf dropped its price by $6,400. There was speculation that there might be a price cut for the 2014 Chevy Volt in order to get it back in front, but there really wasn’t much indication that GM would make a big cut in the price this year.
Nissan made its huge cut after it started producing the Leaf in the US — Carlos Ghosn has emphasized that the cut in price was due to that economical shift. There has been no indication that GM made any comparable change that would warrant a big price drop, only that doing so would make it more competitive again. GM’s CEO Dan Akerson has indicated that he wants the next generation of the Volt to be $7,000 to $10,000 cheaper than the first generation, but the release date for that is projected to be in 2015 or 2016. And, again, there’s no indication that changes have been made with the 2014 Chevy Volt to warrant a price drop of $5,000.
But don’t get me wrong — I think this is a brilliant move. Even the best ventures require investment. Early research has shown that electric car owners love their cars. Chevy Volt owners love their cars (more than owners of any other mass-market car love their cars). Nissan Leaf owners love their cars. Tesla Model S owners love their cars. Electric cars are simply better. But they are new. Many people don’t even know they exist, or hardly know how they differ from gasmobiles. More people need to be exposed to electric cars. That means that more people need to buy these cars, so that their friends, families, and neighbors can learn how awesome they are. Once awareness raises, they will surely sell themselves. There’s no better way to raise that awareness than to drop prices and get more people into Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs, Chevy Spark EVs, etc.
Anyway, here’s more on the 2014 Chevy Volt price cut from Chris DeMorro of sister site Gas2:
Anyone who has been following the saga of the Chevy Volt knows that the single biggest issue facing the plug-in hybrid is its high price. General Motors has said time and again it wants to lower the price of the Volt by as much as $10,000 for the next generation. For now, the 2014 Chevy Volt price has dropped by $5,000, meaning you can buy a 2014 Chevy Volt for under $30,000.
A next-gen Volt is still a few years out, and competitors like the Nissan Leaf, Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, and Fiat 500E have all entered the EV market with drastically reduced prices. The Nissan Leaf price dropped by a whopping $6,400, and with tax credits the Fiat 500E sells for around $22,500 in California (though most “sales” are actually leases).
With growing competition from lower-priced electric cars, the Chevy Volt suddenly seems like the MSRP outlier with a starting price of $39,995. The $5,000 price drop brings the entry-level Chevy Volt down to just $34,995, and with the Federal tax credit available nationwide the price is really $27,495. In California, which adds another $2,500 in state incentives, the Volt’s starting price is just $24,995. And in Colorado, which throws $6,000 on top of the Feds $7,500, you can get an entry-level Chevy Volt for just $21,495.
Read Chris’ full post on Gas2.
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