At least GM isn’t cutting functionality out of the Chevy Volt, despite cutting $5,000 from its price. It’s somewhat disappointing that it took this long for GM to realize that the $40,000 price tag was a bit more costly than other electric vehicles on the road. The Volt isn’t all-electric, despite being billed as such, it has an internal combustion engine that can be used to recharge the batteries. But it is still possible to drive the Volt as all-electric, and some people have done just that, never using the gasoline engine.
Nissan cut $6,400 from the price of the 2013 Leaf in December 2012, knocking the price down to just under $29,000. Although the Volt is still not sub-$30k, it might stand to reason that it be a slight bit more expensive if for nothing more than because of the on-board generator. The Volt is a large sedan, likely capable of running on gasoline alone, but it’s still $6,300 more than the starting price of the Nissan Leaf.
Unlike the ideals of EP Tender and eBuggy that would allow a pure electric vehicle to travel longer distances, the trailer is incorporated into the Volt. It may not be merely the opinion of the automobile engineers that an external add-on trailer is not as desirable for a vehicle. The added weight of the internal combustion engine only detracts from the potential efficiency of the electric driving mode.
For now the Chevy Volt is still a decent compromise between an EV and an internal combustion-only vehicle. And maybe still good enough at $35,000 to lure some of the skeptics and range-anxietists away from oil.