Chevrolet was criticized for charging too much for its 2011 Volt plug-in hybrid, but the General Motors (NYSE: GM) imprint is confident that it can charge even more for the 2012 model, which will now be sold nationwide.

On the paper, the 2012 Volt is cheaper than the 2011 model, as it starts now at $39,995 (including destination), which is more than $1,000 below the 2011 base price of $41,000. However, GM removed quite a bit of the standard equipment and made it optional and added a few more options, which means that a fully loaded Volt now tops out at more than $46,000, as opposed to the $43,090 for essentially the same car.

The base model no longer includes the navigation system, which now costs a hefty $1,995 extra. The Bose sound system is also optional now and can be purchased for $495. If you purchased a 2011 base model for $41,000, you will now have to pay $41,635 for the same car. Further options include a rear camera package ($695), leather trim ($1,395), wheel options ($595 or $695), the MyLink entertainment package (no official price posted yet, and premium paint ($495 or $995).

With taxes and fees, the Volt can quickly turn into a $50,000 car, even if the $7,500 tax credit still applies.

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