According to an article in Drive by Richard Blackbuon of The Sydney Morning Herald on September 5, GM is considering leasing batteries to customers, rather than asking a prohibitive price for the new technology. The leasing plan would result in customers paying a weekly rental, offset by the huge fuel savings.
"It looks as if it is going to cost a lot more to buy a car like this, however the fuel economy is enormous," Nick Reilly, the president of General Motors Asia Pacific, said.
"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," he said.
Mr Reilly said the leasing approach could speed up the adoption of hybrid 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," he said.
This certainly sounds like the way that GM could get the Volt to market the soonest, without having to worry as much about the life of the battery.