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If anyone has any insights into this, please chime in. My head is spinning with all the confusing and conflicting information I've seen on the Volt purchase/lease options. I understand the $7,500 federal tax credit is deducted when you FILE your taxes, NOT up-front when you purchase the vehicle. But I've heard various payment options with a separate, interest-free $7,500 loan for one year. I also heard California has a $5,000 plug-in tax credit (which many believe will expire or be used up by mid-year). So that makes the possibility of a sub-$30,000 Volt a potential reality. But the fact of the matter is, you're on the hook for the full $41k purchase price until you file your taxes for 2011. I crunched some numbers through the finance calculator, and for a 5-year loan, it came out in the neighborhood of $600+ a month. And that's with an $8-10k down payment! That may be a tough sell to the wife, who is generally tolerant of my geek early-adopter ways. Saying we'll get $12k back at the end of the year may be a sufficient sweetener, but I don't want to pull the trigger until I know how this all works.
 

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I also heard California has a $5,000 plug-in tax credit (which many believe will expire or be used up by mid-year).
Don't know about your math, but the Volt does not qualify for the CA tax credit since it is not an AT-PZEV. Even if it was an AT-PZEV, it would only have qualified for a $3K tax credit; the $5K credit is reserved for pure EVs only and you are right that all the money will be gone as soon as those very early Leaf purchasers apply for their credits.
 
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