Production of the second-generation Chevrolet Volt is set to commence this summer, with the first cars going to customers sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. But before Chevrolet can concentrate on selling the all-new version of the plug-in hybrid EV, it needs to find a way to move the overstock of first-gen models currently sitting on dealer lots.
According to The Detroit Free Press, Chevy dealers had about 6,000 2015 Volts on their lots at the end of April, more than twice the amount of Volts the automaker sold in the first four months of 2015. An enticing 39-month lease at $299 per month and $1,649 due at signing is currently being offered on 2015 Volts, but the majority of owners would still rather wait for the new model to arrive.
The 2016 Volt will travel 50 miles under electric power alone before its 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoTec engine kicks in to help charge the car’s lithium ion batteries. By comparison, the outgoing model will travel just 37 miles on electric power and uses a less efficient 1.4-liter engine. Chevy has also confirmed the 2016 model will start at $33,995 before a $7,500 tax credit, which is more than the first Volt’s current average transaction price of $30,607, but probably not enough to turn customers away and buy the cheaper first-gen car.
Cheaper gasoline prices have curbed interest in all electric and hybrid cars, with sales of plug-in hybrids like the Volt falling 33% year-over-year. Combined that with the impending arrival of a much better replacement, and the first-gen Volt has become an understandably hard sell for Chevy.