Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chevy Volt Coming to D.C.

Chevrolet's highly anticipated Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle will only be available in a few markets when it launches later this year. That list of markets just got a little larger.

Inside Line reports, "General Motors is adding Washington, D.C., to the list of "lead retail markets" for the launch of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt later this year. Suburban Washington joins California and Michigan as the initial consumer markets for the Volt hybrid."

The Volt uses an electric motor to drive for up to 40 miles. After 40 miles, a small gasoline engine kicks in to charge the batteries and allow the car to continue. If drivers travel less than 40 miles a day, it's conceivable that their engines would never kick on. The Volt can also be charged in about eight hours by plugging it into an outlet.

Automotive Business Review says, "According to Chevrolet, it will deliver around 100 Volts to several utilities across US, including Pepco and Dominion, which serves Washington DC and its suburbs as part of an extended demonstration program. The overall program includes 500 charging stations that will be installed for residential, business and public use."

Jim Campbell, Chevrolet's General Manager, told Inside Line that the company chose each of the Volt's initial markets because "each market also has progressive local and state government leaders and utility partners who are crucial in bringing electric vehicles to market."

In the wake of the news, journalists are getting to test the Volt. ABC News drove it at an event held at D.C.'s RFK stadium and says, "If you haven't driven an electric or hybrid car before, the first thing you notice after stepping on the gas-peddle is how quiet it is. … You also notice how quick the Volt is. Because of the way electric motors are designed, power and torque are available from the starting line."

Still, though anticipation for the Volt is high, a lot is riding on the car, and its success isn't certain. Inside Line says, "GM has been deliberate in developing a broad-based initiative to launch and familiarize consumers with the Volt. None of it may matter, however, if the automaker can't bring the car to market for much less than $40,000."

If you're in the market for a new car, check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars as well as this month's best car deals.


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