Pulling the plug on oil dependence
The highly anticipated Chevy Volt will be available for sale later this year, but only in a few select markets, which is probably a good thing, as there won't be very many Volts available.
Inevitably, GM's Volt roll out plans demonstrate that the road to oil independence will be long and winding.
Later this year, GM will roll out the first Chevy Volts to consumers in California; Austin, Texas; New York City; and Washington, DC. and by the first quarter of 2011, the Volt will also be available in Michigan, the rest of Texas, New Jersey and Connecticut. Through 2011, 10,000 Volts will be available sale.
In 2012, GM plans to increase production to 30,000 Volts per year and offer the Volt in all 50 states some time that year. Those interested in purchasing a Volt can sign up here.
For those committed to reducing their personal oil dependence, the launch of the Chevy Volt is fantastic news. Nonetheless, what is the Volt accomplishing?
Before Congress, GM testified that the Chevy Volt should not be seen as a significant factor in GM's CAFE-reaching capabilities, as Volt production will be limited for at least the first 5 to 10 years according to GM officials. Thus, it could be a decade before GM is selling 100,000 Volts per year in the US, if ever. Yet, even if GM could sell 100,000 Volts per year, such sales would have little impact upon oil dependence.
Of course, a little impact is better than no impact at all, and plug-in vehicles such as the Volt, are extremely important for breaking out of the box that American consumers are so accustomed to driving. Therefore, the Volt is undeniably good news. Unfortunately, however, the Volt is also undeniable proof that American oil independence is still decades away.