Another electric car maker finds crucial cost savings needed to drive this market forward

General Motors has cut the price of its 2014 model of the Chevrolet Volt by $5,000 (£3,252) to boost demand for the electric car. Prices will start at $34,995, plus an $810 destination fee, although prices could fall as low as $27,495 if federal tax credits are taken into account (release).

According to the United States Department of Energy, around 40,000 plug-in electric vehicles were bought in the first half of the year – nearly double that of last year, but sales have so far been constrained by the excessively high price of batteries. The industry will need to find further savings to really corner this market.

General Motors is the latest in a series of electric car manufacturers to cut prices on these products, with Nissan cutting its Leaf EV by $6,400 and Ford reducing its 2014 electric focus by $4,000.

US vice president of Chevrolet sales and service Don Johnson said the new price reflects the jump forward in the cost of producing electrical vehicles and their components – the new Volt will have all of the same features as the previous model. “The lower price and cost savings from driving on electricity provide Volt owners an unmatched balance of technology, capability and cost of ownership,” he said.

General Motors say the car can typically travel 900 miles between fill ups and visit the petrol station around once a month, with an fuel economy equivalent to 98 miles per gallon of gasoline on electric power and 40 miles per gallon when powered by its gasoline engine (reduced to 30mpg in a city environment).