How much will it cost?

  • New car is crucial to GM
  • Extended-range electric car
  • Our first impressions
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

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There are a few ifs and buts that need to be resolved - the most important of these is cost.

Hints coming out of America suggest that the Volt could cost as much as $40,000, which translates to around 25,000 at current exchange rates.

GM says the Ampera will be a high-spec car in Europe, so you can see where this is going. The UK Government is promising grants of between 3000 and 5000 to encourage the take-up of electric cars, but as Corsini admits, 'electric cars won't be cheap'. GM hasn't yet decided whether to offer a leasing scheme for the batteries, like the one Nissan is planning with the all-electric Leaf.

Then there's Vauxhall-Opel's future within GM to consider, and how this will affect the sharing of technology. Earlier this year, GM was seeking a buyer for its European division, but it is now rumoured to be having second thoughts.

Until this is resolved, everything remains uncertain, although GM Europe insiders insist that all discussions with potential buyers include the Ampera. Vauxhall workers at Ellesmere Port will be relieved to hear that, since they are in line to build the car.

It would be a shame if it never sees the light of day. It's quick, smooth, refined, stylish and highly efficient.

Above all else, it shows really intelligent thinking that ought to encourage even the biggest electric car sceptic to have second thoughts, assuming it can be made available at a price within the reach of enough people. We've seen the electric car future, and it looks pretty rosy.

PRICE: 25,000-plus (est)
ON SALE Early 2012
YOULL LIKE Smooth, quiet, clean, quick
YOU WON'T Expensive. Very expensive