Chevy drops Volt base price by $1,000 for 2012, makes saving the world slightly more affordable

Chevy wants to know what it can do to get you into one of its plug-in hybrids today. A $1,000 price drop? You got it. The carmaker announced this week that the 2012 Volt base price will come in a grand lower than its predecessor, thanks to the sorts of additional configurations that come with increased availability. The 2011 version was available in seven states and the District of Columbia and came in three configurations -- 2012's Volt is available nationwide in seven different packages, ranging from $39,995 to $46,265. And keep in mind that those prices don't factor in potential tax credits. The latest version of the plug-in vehicle is available now for order and offers up features like MyLink media streaming, OnStar driving directions, and passive locking (though the new base model does strip away a couple of features found in its predecessor). Also there's the whole lessening your dependence on gasoline, if you're into that sort of thing.

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Chevrolet Begins Taking Orders Nationwide for 2012 Volt

DETROIT – Chevrolet dealers in all 50 states will begin taking orders for the 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric car today.

The suggested retail price for the award-winning Volt will start at $39,995 (or $32,495 assuming a full federal tax credit of $7,500, which is subject to the customer's eligibility). The price includes an $850 destination freight charge but excludes tax, title and license fees. The starting price of the 2012 model is more than $1,000 below the 2011 base model.

The lower base price is possible in part because of a wider range of options and configurations that come with the expansion of Volt production for sale nationally. The 2011 model was available in just seven states and the District of Columbia.

For 2012, consumers will be able to choose from a total of seven option packages compared with only three for the 2011 model. A loaded Volt, with leather appointments, backup camera, navigation system and premium paint and wheels is priced at $46,265 including delivery ($38,765 net of full tax credit).

"We are giving consumers greater choice of content as the Volt becomes available nationwide by the end of this year," said Cristi Landy, Volt marketing director. "This gives us the opportunity to be more flexible in our pricing and still provide additional high-tech content to customers who want to purchase it."

The Volt will be available in two additional interior accents (white and spiced red) and two new exterior colors (Summit White and Blue Topaz Metallic).

New features for 2012 include:

Standard keyless access with passive locking; the car automatically locks and unlocks with the key fob in close proximity of vehicle
OnStar Turn by Turn navigation standard for three years, and available in-dash navigation system
Chevrolet MyLink including Bluetooth streaming audio for music and select phones (late availability)
Standard AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback and 7-inch diagonal color touch-screen display
Available 17-inch sport alloy wheels with black inserts (late availability).

Chevrolet will continue to offer an eight-year/100,000-mile* limited warranty on the Volt's 16-kWh lithium-ion battery, plus:

Three-year/36,000-mile* bumper-to-bumper coverage
Five-year/100,000-mile* roadside assistance and courtesy transportation
Five-year/100,000-mile* limited gas engine coverage
Six-year/100,000-mile* corrosion protection coverage.

Customers in all states can visit their nearest participating Chevrolet Volt dealer today to order a 2012 Volt. Once an order is placed, a dedicated Volt advisor will be available to answer questions and keep the customer apprised of the order progress. Nationwide availability will initially be limited as deliveries will occur by phases. Additionally, Chevrolet will have a team of Volt advisors available to answer questions starting today at 1-888-VOLT-4-YOU (1-888-865-8496).

The Volt offers a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe-emissions free using a full charge of electricity. When the Volt's battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full change. Chevrolet expects to build up to 45,000 Volts for retail and fleet customers in the United States during calendar year 2012.