Think about it in terms of fuel costs. The Volt is actually priced pretty fairly. MORE fairly if the gov't actually offsets some of the cost.
Say you buy a Malibu for $25,000. And you use 7,500 dollars worth of fuel over a 5-year span (1500 a year in fuel). Add that 7500; you spend 31,500 for 5 years of ownership.
Now buy a Volt for 40k, and say you only spend 300 dollars in fuel every year for 5 years (less if you don't drive over 40 miles a day). That's a savings of 6000 over 5 years; so you'd spend the Volt's cost of owership would be about $34,000.
I don't think that a $2500 difference is a big deal. Plus this will diminish to nothing, and the Volt will actually start paying for itself in the 6th year of ownership. Considering that, like an ipod or a cell phone, this is brand new technology -- so it's going to be a on the expensive side at first. AND consider that you're using a fraction of the amount of oil/gas a normal car uses....
A $40,000 pricetag is unfortunate because at face value, it seems like it's a lot more expensive than a regular car. But I think the car is priced VERY fairly, and I'd buy one if I wasn't getting a Camaro .
"Horsepower is how fast you hit the Wall, Torque is how far you take it with you."