GM CEO Ed Whitacre says the company is expanding the initial launch of the Chevy Volt electric vehicle to Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the launch markets for the Volt. Already part of the launch plan are California, Michigan, and Washington, D.C.
GM decided to expand the launch as a signal that GM does not view the Volt as strictly a city car due to its limited driving range on a single battery charge. “Chevrolet is extending the Volt launch to additional states because of strong customer interest and our confidence in all aspects of the vehicle and battery,” said Tony DiSalle, Chevrolet Volt marketing director.
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 engages to extend the driving range.
According to a U.S. Department of Transportation survey, the average driver in America commutes less than 40 miles per day.
Whitacre also 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.
Volt production begins late this year at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck facility. Pricing has not been announced.