bNet – Price Gouging is Rampant on the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf

Jim Motavalli is the author of Forward Drive: The Race to Build Clean Cars for the Future, among other books. He has been covering the environmental side of the auto industry for more than a decade, and writes regularly on those topics for the New York Times.

Price gouging on hot cars is a sleazy practice, and few dealers will admit they do it. But when short supply meets high demand, as it has with the new green cars, the market can and will push prices up. The Japanese tsunami and earthquake have aggravated the situation, and anyone who actually has cars to sell holds all the cards.

Chevy Volt

If you think the $41,000 MSRP is too much to pay for the Chevy Volt, how would you like to pay $61,000? That’s the jacked-up price a Los Angeles-area dealer is charging for GM’s first plug-in hybrid. And reports of a $55,000 Nissan Leaf are not apocryphal — that’s how much a consumer recently asked for his car on eBay. Some desperate buyers are offering to pay $70,000 for the Leaf.

In fact, it takes ingenuity for dealers to price-gouge on the Nissan Leaf, because the online ordering system puts buyers in line for cars, and not many are up for grabs on the lots. But the tsunami has made Leafs exceedingly scarce, and that creates an opportunity for some dealers to profit (sometimes by buying used vehicles on the open market). And some first-in-line customers are reselling their hot cars at what-the-market-will-bear prices.

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Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.