Today, GM announced the price of its 2014 Chevrolet Volt is $5,000 less than the 2013 model base price. But what does it really mean? If you are finally committed to going completely green in your life – including your transportation – then now may be the time to consider a bonafide electric vehicle (albeit one that never stops given the Volt is also equipped with a gas engine).
Yes, GM says you can buy a 2014 Chevy Volt at a base price of $34,995 (plus a $810 destination fee as well as tax, title, license and dealer fees).
Volt, however, is categorized by government entities as a true electric vehicle (EV) even though it has a gas-powered engine, so potential federal tax credits can bring the price down to $27,495. The tax credits are determined by individual tax liability and GM urges buyers to consult a tax professional before confirming any credit eligibility.
While this may sound odd (and it is!), it could mean that you can buy one of the most weird and wonderful EVs on the market today. Why weird?
Some EV enthusiasts don’t consider Volt a EV. Basically, The Volt drives for about 35 or so miles on an electric motor and then seamlessly transitions to a internal combustion power plant when juice from the lithium ion battery runs out. Not quite an EV and not really a hybrid vehicle, The Volt is considered by EV enthusiasts as a plug-in vehicle (like Toyota Prius Plug-In and Ford C-Max Energi).
So, what do you get for less than $30,000 in the 2014 Chevrolet Volt? Actually for the price, The Volt is rather luxurious inside. Creature comforts are plentiful such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and GM’s MyLink integrated auto infotainment system.
And for 2014, the newest Volt incarnation comes with an increased battery range. Besides the price reduction, this is the most exciting advancement in Volt technology, so says this green automotive expert. Now, Volt drivers can get an EPA-estimated 38 miles (depending on terrain, driving techniques and temperature) rather than around 25 or so in previous models. With most daily commutes just slightly below the 40-mile range, this means more gas-free driving than ever in Chevy’s never-stop Volt.
Let’s get down to real ownership. GM says: “Volt owners who charge regularly typically drive 900 miles between fill-ups and visit the gas station about once a month.” That is, if you don’t take any long road trips. As aforementioned, The Volt is best for commuters who can drive only on the 38 miles of electric power each day and can “fill up” the battery each night. In this way, the energy costs to drive The Volt are only about $1 a day or less.
In fact, GM claims its 2014 Volt gets 98 MPGe (in electric mode) and 35 city/40 highway on gasoline power, which GM says will save Volt drivers around $900 in annual fuel costs.
How do we know Chevy’s Volt is a good buy for today’s environmentally-friendly consumers? Because Volt owners have already logged around 364 million miles (including 225 million electric miles), so says GM.
Plus, this automotive journalist has been tracking a few Volt owners over the years and I can attest to their pure love for all things Volt.
Need another reason to consider the 2014 Volt? Some California and New York buyers are tempted to buy Volt just for the coveted HOV lane access sticker.
GM says its 2014 Volt will become available in late summer. Chevrolet has also debuted two new colors for its 2014 Volt: ashen gray metallic and brownstone metallic.