The Chevy Volt to be Priced $41,000 (or $33,500)

The Chevrolet Volt represents a fairly significant step for the electric automotive industry. The car company announced that dealers in launch markets will now begin taking customer orders for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

Chevrolet is so confident in the overall value of the Volt that it will offer a lease program on the Volt with a monthly payment as low as $350 for 36 months at Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price with $2,500 due at lease signing, including security deposit based on current conditions, which could vary at time of delivery.

The car itself will carry an MSRP starting at $41,000, which gets whittled down to as low as $33,500 net after the full federal tax credit, which ranges from $0-$7,500.

"The Chevrolet Volt will be the best vehicle in its class…because it's in a class by itself," said Joel Ewanick, vice president of U.S. marketing for General Motors, who made the announcement at the Plug-In 2010 conference. "No other automaker offers an electrically driven vehicle that can be your everyday driver, to take you wherever, whenever. The Volt will be packed with premium content and innovation, standard."

The Volt will be initially available to Chevrolet customers in California, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area.

The car has a total driving range of about 340 miles and is powered by electricity at all times. For up to the first 40 miles, the Volt drives gas- and tailpipe-emissions-free using electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas powered range-extending engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 300 miles on a full tank.

While the Chevrolet Volt will come standard with a 120-volt charge cord that will allow owners to charge their Volt directly from a standard home electrical outlet, a total of 4,400 Volt buyers in launch markets could be eligible for a free 240-volt charging station, including home installation. The installations are part of a program developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to install approximately 15,000 240-volt home charging stations across the U.S.

The Volt's 16-kWh lithium-ion battery is covered by an industry-leading transferable warranty of eight years or 100,000 miles. In addition, Chevrolet will provide:

* 3-year / 36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage

* 5-year / 100,000-mile roadside assistance and courtesy transportation

* 5-year / 100,000-mile limited gas engine coverage

* 6-year / 100,000-mile corrosion protection coverage

Like all other new cars, the Volt also has an array of standard safety features, including eight air bags — dual-stage frontal, side-impact, knee, and roof-rail side-impact - and StabiliTrak electronic stability control with Traction Control. The Volt is constructed of 80 percent high-strength steel for additional safety and protection.

The first models will be hitting roads later this year.