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GM offers lower-priced 2012 Chevy Volt

The automaker launches a model of the plug-in hybrid Volt starting at just under $40,000 as it opens up a nationwide sales push.

GM expects to sell 45,000 Chevy Volts in 2012 to fleet and retail customers.
GM expects to sell 45,000 Chevy Volts in 2012 to fleet and retail customers. GM

General Motors said today that dealers in all 50 states can take orders for the 2012 Chevy Volt, which will come in a model priced just below $40,000.

The plug-in hybrid Volt is now available in six different models, rather than three, with the lowest listed at $39,995, or about $1,000 less than the 2011 price. The high-end model with leather, backup camera, navigation system, and other features is $46,265. Prices include the destination fee but not other taxes and fees.

Buyers can benefit from a federal tax credit of $7,500 for plug-in vehicles with batteries the size of the Chevy Volt's. GM is already working on bringing down the cost of the electric powertrain in the Volt, as the price is still higher than that of traditional hybrids.

Significantly for GM, the Volt will now be on sale nationwide, rather than in just seven states and the District of Columbia. The company took a regional rollout approach in an effort to work out kinks in the selling and home charging station installation process.

Since GM and Nissan, which makes the all-electric Leaf, started delivering their plug-in sedans about six months ago, auto industry watchers have been tracking the monthly sales totals, with both carmakers about even in total sales for the year to date, according to

GM said it expects to sell 45,000 Volts to fleetand retail customers in 2012. The Volt refresh will include a handful of new features, including three years of OnStar navigation service, and the same eight-year/100,000 mile warranty for its battery.

According to EPA estimates, the Volt has a range of 379 miles. Fuel economy varies significantly depending on how often the battery is recharged. The EPA rates the Volt at 37 miles per gallon on charge-sustaining mode and 93 miles per gallon for all-electric driving. Depending on conditions, GM says the Volt runs for the first 35 miles on its battery and then a gas engine kicks in to run a generator to maintain battery charge.