Despite earlier reports predicting the upcoming Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid vehicle would cost less than $30,000 when it arrives in November 2010, a source close to the project has now revealed that the final price tag is likely to be closer to $40,000. That figure is likely to be higher than the cost of most other hybrid vehicles on the market but GM is lobbying Congress to create a new tax credit that could potentially benefit extended-range electric vehicles like the new Volt.

People close to the project are predicting between 10,000 and 30,000 Volt sales in the first year, with volume expected to grow to around 60,000 units once people become familiar with the car and its benefits. Initial proposals for federal tax credits could knock up to $7,000 off the Volt's price, reports Automotive News.

"There haven't been any recent developments that threaten the timing," says a source familiar with the project. "To the contrary, our confidence in the lithium ion battery continues to grow. But we still have a lot of development and testing to go." The source also confirmed that without a tax credit a $30,000 price tag for the Volt was unlikely.

While the Volt may cost more than regular hybrids, its drivetrain is very different to anything currently on the market. The Volt will be powered by an electric motor running off lithium ion batteries and can travel up to 40 miles on a single charge. The only time it will use its internal combustion engine is when the batteries are close to being depleted. This means that if you drive less than 40 miles per day you will never need to visit a fuel station.