AUSTIN, Texas — Chevrolet announced Thursday that it will expand the launch of the Volt into Texas, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Ed Whitacre, General Motors chairman and chief executive officer, indicated the company is enhancing the launch due to "intense interest" from Volt customers throughout the country.
The Volt's initial launch was originally slated to include California, Michigan and Washington, D.C., so now the new model will be going into seven markets.
The launch will occur in Texas and New York, beginning with Austin and New York City late this year. The rest of Texas and New York, along with New Jersey and Connecticut will begin receiving the vehicles 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," explained Whitacre.
"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," he added.
Tony DiSalle, Chevrolet Volt marketing director, noted, "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."
According to the automaker, the 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 16kWh lithium-ion battery. When the vehicle's battery runs low, an engine-generator is designed to engage and extend the driving range to about 300 miles on a full tank of gas.
A portable 120-volt vehicle cord that can recharge the vehicle using a standard residential outlet comes standard with every car. The model is designed 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 Chevy 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.