General Motors Co. estimates it costs about $1.50 to fully recharge the battery in its new Chevrolet Volt electric car, based on the average rates for electricity around the country. The figure could be lower in areas that offer off-peak charging or even special electric-car charging rates, said Tony Posawatz, who is managing the Volt project.
The Volt, which as an electric motor as well as a gasoline engine that can produces electricity when the battery energy is used up, can be recharged fully in about four hours on a 240-volt home charging dock. It takes about eight hours to charge on a standard 120-volt outlet. GM recently said the car could get as much as 50 miles of all electric range, up from the upper limit of 40 that had been announced earlier.
GM gave test drives of the Volt, due out late this year, at an electric car conference this week. GM has priced the car at $41,000 to start. It can be leased for $350 a month, however. Buyers also are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit. GM said yesterday it was installing 345 charging stations on company property, including two that sit at the base of its 70-story headquarters in downtown Detroit. GM also said 1,500 GM Chevrolet dealerships will install charging docks.
GM also seems to be wavering on exactly when the car will go on sale. Tom Stephens, GM’s Vice Chairman of Global Product Operations, said yesterday the company hadn’t committed to a launch date. Earlier this year, the company had said to expect it in November. The car is still going through tests and validations, he said.
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