Chevy Volt starts shipping to customers, most of whom forgot they ordered one last decade

Mark it down, folks -- it's a monumental day. In a way, this marks the end of one of the longest running sagas covered at Engadget, but in reality, it's probably the start of something else entirely. Chevrolet's Volt was once the starlet of the electric vehicle universe. And then 2009 happened. In the meanwhile, a smattering of other automakers have moved forward with hybrid and pure electric plans, with Tesla's Roadster heading out to thousands of motorists and Nissan's Leaf shipping to customers earlier this week (just to name a couple). Of course, GM still maintains that the Volt is the "world's first-and-only electric vehicle with extended-range capability," but we're sure a laundry list of rivals would love to argue that point. Regardless of the hurdles and hardships, Chevy has still managed to turn a far-flung concept into reality for around 160 people this week, and a slow but steady trickle of these things should continue for the foreseeable future. If you're wondering if placing an order is right for you, have a look at our most recent test drives.

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Chevrolet Volts Begin Shipping to Dealerships
First Customers Should Get Extended-Range Electric Cars Within Days


DETROIT – The first Chevrolet Volts left the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant on Monday destined for initial retail launch markets. Customers in California, Texas, Washington D.C. and New York could receive the world's first-and-only electric vehicle with extended-range capability in the next few days.

These are the first of an expected 160 vehicles to be shipped this week.

"Today is a historic milestone for Chevrolet," said Tony DiSalle, Volt marketing director. "We have redefined automotive transportation with the Volt, and soon the first customers will be able to experience gas-free commuting with the freedom to take an extended trip whenever or wherever they want."

The heart of the Volt is its Voltec electric propulsion system, which combines battery-only electric driving with an efficient, gas-powered engine giving the Volt up to 379 total miles of driving before having to recharge the battery or fill up the small gas tank. The Volt is the only mass produced U.S.-built electric vehicle.

Earlier this year, Chevrolet shipped 15 pre-production Volts to technology enthusiasts and electric vehicle advocates whom were the first consumers to experience the Volt every day under real-world conditions during a 90-day vehicle and charging evaluation program.

MotorTrend, Automobile and Green Car Journal each recently selected the Volt as their Car of the Year.