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Chevrolet bringing 10,000 Volts in 2011, but it's the current of change that will kill you

Vlad Savov

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Good news for all electric heads out there: "intense interest" in the Chevy Volt has led General Motors to expand its launch markets to now include Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Texas. They join California, Michigan and Washington DC, although only Austin in Texas and New York City will have the honor of retail Volts before 2010 is through; the rest of the new markets will get their fill in 2011. Though Chevy still hasn't set down a final date and price for its electric car, late 2010 availability seems to mesh well with a November 1 rumor we heard earlier. Beyond this year, 10,000 units are planned to be built in 2011, with 30,000 more coming up in 2012. So it's gonna be a pretty exclusive club however you look at it, now can we get a cheesy music video going for this car or what? Oh wait...

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Chevrolet Volt Adds Four States To Launch

AUSTIN – Chevrolet is adding Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the launch markets for the Volt, Ed Whitacre, General Motors chairman and CEO, announced today. Whitacre said the company is expanding the initial launch of the groundbreaking electric vehicle in response to intense interest in the Volt from customers across the country.

Today's announcement brings the initial Volt retail markets to seven, including California, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. The retail launch in Texas and New York will begin with Austin and New York City in late 2010. The balance of Texas and New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, are scheduled to begin receiving Volts in early 2011.

"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," Whitacre said. "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."

The Volt is the only electric vehicle that can operate under a full range of climates and driving conditions without limitations or driver concern of being stranded by a depleted battery.

"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 seamlessly engages to extend the driving range to about 300 miles on a full tank of gas.

According to a U.S. Department of Transportation survey, the average driver in America commutes less than 40 miles per day, meaning Chevrolet Volt owners may never use gasoline or produce tailpipe emissions in everyday driving.

A portable 120-volt vehicle charge cord that can recharge the Volt using a standard residential outlet comes standard with every car. Volt's intelligent charging technology enables the Volt to be charged from a standard 120-volt outlet in about nine to 10 hours, or from a standard 240-volt outlet in about three to four hours. The first buyers of the Volt also may be eligible for one of 4,400 free 240-volt home charging stations from ECOtality, Inc. or Coulomb Technologies, under a program administered by the U.S. Department of Energy and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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.

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