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Mike Stevens | Dec 22, 2011

Pricing for Holden's upcoming Volt EREV has yet to be revealed, but news this week of the Nissan Leaf's $51,500 price tag, along with the $48,800 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, has given us some idea of what to expect.

For now, the Volt is a low-volume model, and the technology is expensive. According to GM boss Dan Akerson however, production numbers will soon ramp up, and that will bring costs down.

In an interview with the Detroit Free Press this week, Akerson said that his company is aiming to increase volt production to 60,000 in 2012 - up from just 6000 in 2011.

"I think Prius in its second year did a lot less than that, half. By this summer we will [be in] what I call the second generation, where we will achieve certain scale, and we should see an appreciable drop in the cost of the production of the Volt."

He added that the first year of production functioned as a time to "get things aligned and make sure that the car was what we hoped it would be".

Speaking about the Volt's recent battery issues, where the batteries in a small number of vehicles caught fire after a crash, Akerson said that the issue is under control.

"This car is safe. There is nothing happening immediately after the crash. I think in the interest of General Motors, the industry, the electrification of the car, it's better to get it right now, when you have 6,000, instead of 60,000 or 600,000, cars on the road."

In Australia, the Volt will go on sale in late 2012, and Holden boss Mike Devereux is confident the "Extended Range Electric Vehicle" will be a success.

“Volt will make driving more economical, more environmentally-friendly and will fundamentally change the way Australia thinks about alternative transport solutions."

If the price is right, Devereux might well be on the money. The Leaf's debut early next year will give us the best idea yet of the Australian motoring public's interest in electric vehicles - and whether they're willing to pay big dollars for it.

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