Chevrolet to Produce 10,000 Volts in 2011 and 30,000 in 2012; 50-State Availability 12-18 Months After Launch

Chevrolet plans to produce 10,000 Volt extended range electric vehicles by the end of the 2011 calendar year, and an additional 30,000 Volts during the 2012 calendar year, according to Volt Marketing Director Tony DiSalle, who made the announcements during a live video webcast 1 July. (Earlier post.)

DiSalle also confirmed that the first Volts available for retail sales will be sold in California; Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; and the New York City metropolitan area later this year. Volts are expected to arrive at dealerships in Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut, as well as the balance of Texas and New York in the first quarter of 2011.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre separately announced that Chevrolet will add five Texas electric utilities and five Northeast utilities to a Department of Energy development and demonstration program that provides Volts and charging stations to key utilities. The program allows the utilities to study charging station installation process, vehicle charging, and customer feedback

The Texas utilities include: Austin Energy, CenterPoint Energy, CPS Energy, Oncor, and American Electric Power. In the Northeast, Chevrolet is partnering with Con Edison, New York Power Authority, Northeast Utilities, National Grid, and Public Service Electric and Gas.

Additional markets will be added as production volume increases during the second model year, with Volt available in all 50 states 12 to 18 months after the initial launch.

Before receiving Volts for retail sales, dealers will be required to complete specialized sales and service training, and install 240-volt charging stations at their dealership. Chevrolet expects to have nationwide service coverage available through Chevrolet Authorized Volt Service Dealers during the 12 to 18 month national rollout.

DiSalle encouraged Consumers interested in purchasing a Volt to visit and register to receive news updates as Volt approaches the national launch. Consumers can request to be contacted when dealers have available Volts in their area.

DiSalle also confirmed that the Volt will embark on a 1,776-mile “Freedom Drive” leaving Austin 1 June. The Drive will stop in Little Rock, Ark., Nashville, Tenn., Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia before arriving in New York City on July 4.

Fans can follow the Volt’s journey on Chevrolet’s various social media properties, including the Chevrolet Volt Facebook, the @ChevyVolt Twitter account, the Chevrolet Posterous page, and the page, where viewers will find photos, videos and text updates on the Volt’s location and performance. The team will be using the hashtag #VoltDrive during the event.

The Chevrolet Volt is capable of about 340 miles total driving range, with electricity driving the car at all times. For trips as long as 40 miles, the Volt gets its power solely from electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt’s battery runs low, an engine-generator seamlessly engages to extend the driving range to about 300 miles on a full tank of gas.

Volt production begins late this year at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck facility. Pricing has not been announced.

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