In an effort to keep the costs down, GM is looking to rent the battery to anyone who eventually buys the Volt. That seems like a smart move to me, but I wonder how willing most people will be to 'rent' a part of the car that is essential. In a manner of speaking, you'll have to keep making payments to GM for the lifetime of your car.
However, if they truly keep the costs down to what you would normally spend on gas (would they charge by the mile?), some people may see that as acceptable. Of course, anyone with a long commute who is paying for gas and for the battery may second guess their choice.
Nick Reilly, the president of General Motors Asia Pacific, was quoted (link to AutoblogGreen) as saying,
- "It looks as if it is going to cost a lot more to buy a car like this, however the fuel economy is enormous"
- "People won't buy a full car. They will buy a car and rent or lease the battery and the cost of leasing the battery will be the same as, or less than, the cost they're paying today for petrol. So the motoring costs of an electric vehicle don't necessarily have to be much higher than the cost of today's vehicles"
- "Before we were saying it will be an awfully long time before we can get the costs down so people can afford it, but actually if you offset the fuel costs, people can afford it."