General Motors is still trying to keep its upcoming Chevrolet Volt in the news even as other models, including the Chevrolet Cruze, take center stage. For most of the past three years GM has used the Volt as its way to convey that the automaker is a smarter, greener and more environmentally responsible car manufacturer. Still, the Volt launch seemed more of a dream than a reality.
Unless you’re totally disconnected from the news, the Chevy Volt is GM’s latest attempt at vehicle electrification, a car equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack and offering a pure-electric range of 40 miles between charges. That won’t take you far, so GM has also included a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with the Volt in a bid to extend its range and to make certain that you are never left stranded.
GM calls it an electric vehicle; you may consider the Chevy Volt as some sort of hybrid. In any case, GM wants to get this car built and in the hands of as many consumers as possible.
To that end, GM has updated its product release information. The retail launch of the Volt will begin in Austin, Texas and New York City late this year with other markets getting the car in 2011. The Volt will also be available for sale in California, Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., markets and with the exception of most of the Golden State are known to have some rough winters.
Indeed, rolling out the Volt where weather can be at its worst demonstrates GM’s confidence that its electric sedan won’t conk out if you hit the road fully charged and encounter a snowstorm. That is important, because not too many people are certain that the Volt will survive, let alone thrive in frigid conditions.
Speaking to members of the press on July 1 in Austin, Ed Whitacre, General Motors chairman and CEO said, “We can add markets as diverse as Texas and New York because the Chevrolet Volt can handle both urban commuting and longer trips, in Austin summers and Manhattan winters. The Volt can be your primary vehicle, giving you the freedom to drive gas-free without the stress of planning every trip around the battery’s charge level.”
Expect vehicle range to be GM’s theme with the Volt as it hits the market. While the Nissan Leaf will have the ability to run on pure electric power for approximately 100 miles, it doesn’t have an alternative source of power. Estimates of the Volt’s range vary, but the minimum amount seems to be 340 miles and at least drivers can head to the gas pump if they need to go further.
Chevrolet Volt production will commence later this year at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck facility. Pricing has not yet been published.
Source: General Motors