After nearly four years of development and extensive testing with the pre-production models, General Motors has officially announced pricing and has begun taking customer orders for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt in seven select markets starting today. For the general public who are not up to speed on the details, the Chevy Volt is the first electric vehicle with extended-range capability and not limited to the battery’s capacity. The Volt’s MSRP will start at $41,000 ($33,500 net of full federal income tax credit, which ranges from $0 – $7,500) and includes the $720 destination charge.
The Chevy Volt has a total range of approximately 340 miles. The beauty is that the Volt uses a small gasoline engine which recharges the Li-Ion batteries and extends the car’s range another 300 miles after it runs tailpipe-emission-free for 40 miles on battery power. The purpose of the small engine is to recharge the batteries and extend the range of the vehicle — not to assist the powertrain as with the case of hybrid vehicles.