• Dec 2nd 2009 at 10:30AM
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2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

If environmentally-friendly transportation is your thing, there's no place like California. Not only is the state home base to Tesla – the first company to genuinely demonstrate that hugging a tree and hugging the road needn't be mutually exclusive – it was also chosen by General Motors as the launch site for its EV1 and by Honda for the FCX Clarity. It should come as no great surprise, then, that GM has just announced that its latest earthmobile – the highly anticipated Chevrolet Volt – will launch in California first before being introduced in markets across the country.

Not only with the Volt be available in the nation's largest car market before any other, but The General is also partnering with a number of local electric companies to accompany the rollout. Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and Sacramento Municipal Utility District, together with the non-profit Electric Power Research Institute, will help demonstrate the benefits and practicality of the Volt's hybrid powertrain, thanks in part to a $30 million grant from the federal Department of Energy's Transportation Electrification Initiative. Follow the jump to read all about it in GM's full press release.

  • 11/29/09 7:17:39 -- Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A Vehicle Chief Engineer Andrew Farah and the new Chevy Volt during the Dodger Stadium ride and drive.

[Source: General Motors]


National Launch Of Chevrolet Volt To Begin In California With Other Lead Markets To Follow
Chevrolet Also Announces Partnerships with California Utilities to Study Regional Electric Vehicle Use, Infrastructure

LOS ANGELES – Chevrolet announced today at the Los Angeles International Auto Show that the Volt electric vehicle with extended-range capability will be available late next year in California – the nation's largest new-car market – with other lead markets to be named later.

Chevrolet is also partnering with three California utilities and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) as part of an extended, real-world demonstration and research program to introduce customers to electric vehicles, advance vehicle electrification and establish vehicle charging programs to pave the way for consumers. General Motors is leading the program with a grant of more than $30 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds from the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the U.S. Department of Energy.

"It is natural that California is the lead market for Volt. Not only is it the largest automotive market, Californians are known to be leaders in adopting groundbreaking new technologies," said Brent Dewar, GM vice president, Global Chevrolet Brand.

Volt production is scheduled to begin in late 2010. Pricing has not been announced. The initial Volt launch markets, including California, will play a vital role in validating the retail market readiness for electric vehicles. GM is working with key utilities across North America to prepare each regional market in advance of the retail market deployment.

Three California utilities participating in the demonstration project are Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and Sacramento Municipal Utility District. They join EPRI, an independent, nonprofit research organization based in Palo Alto, Calif., and seven other utilities in the project. EPRI's utility members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States.

As part of the research and demonstration program, Chevrolet will deliver more than 100 Volts to program participants to use in their fleets for two years. Chevrolet will also utilize OnStar telematics technology to collect vehicle performance data and driver feedback that will be reported to the DOE and used to improve customers' experiences with the new technology.

Because the Volt is designed to conveniently charge anywhere, the program also includes installing more than 500 charging stations for residential, business and public use. The charging stations will be used to learn more about the installation, the vehicle charging process and to gain customer feedback on the experience.

The Chevrolet Volt is designed to drive up to 40 miles on electricity without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the Volt's lithium-ion battery runs low, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the total driving range to more than 300 miles before refueling or stopping to recharge the battery.

The Volt is more than its advanced electric propulsion system. With technology beyond the battery, the Volt takes personalization, feedback and interaction to new levels.

The Volt's "Efficiency Meter" in the digital instrument cluster gives the driver real-time feedback on driving efficiency. The heating and cooling system has three efficiency modes, while activating the Volt's "Green Leaf" button provides access to vehicle Power Flow, Charging and Energy information. The driver will be able to set the charging schedule inside the vehicle or remotely, based on time of day or cost. And the Volt even has audio and visual cues to alert the driver when the car powers on, off and when charging is activated.

The Volt has been keeping a high profile in and around Los Angeles in the days leading up to the auto show. It has visited notable L.A.-area restaurants, the Westlake Century City Mall in West Los Angeles and was featured at a nationwide school assembly based at the Harvard-Westlake preparatory school. Chevrolet will also introduce a new Volt song designed to educate and entertain consumers during the auto show's public days.

About Chevrolet
Chevrolet is one of America's best-known and best-selling automotive brands, and one of the fastest growing brands in the world. With fuel solutions that range from "gas-friendly to gas-free," Chevrolet has nine models that offer an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon or more on the highway, and offers three hybrid models. More than 2.5 million Chevrolets that run on E85 biofuel have been sold. Chevrolet delivers expressive design, spirited performance and strives to provide the best value in every segment in which it competes. More information can be found at www.chevrolet.com. For more information on the Volt, visit http://media.gm.com/volt.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      From the USA Today article...
      "A report by the California Air Resources Board found pollution from the Bay area accounts for up to 27% of the smog in the northern part of the valley and about 10% in the southern reaches.

      Valley politicians and air officials have been spearheading lawsuits and legislation to require Bay area cars to undergo the stiff auto emissions tests required in every other urban area of California. An exemption written into state law by a local lawmaker has allowed the area to escape the requirement.

      "You have the greenest, wealthiest area dumping pollution into one of the poorest areas," said Bruce Nilles, a former lawyer for Earthjustice, an environmental law firm, who has worked toward improving air quality in the San Joaquin Valley."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Guess all the celebrities will get first shot at their new status symbol. Prius? Psshhht. Volt baby! LOOK AT ME!
        • 5 Years Ago
        The only time you'll see a California celebrity in a Chevy sedan if it's black and white.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Epyx - do 'we'? no. does the car buying public and high profile people in California due to a remarkably effective pr campaign the last three generations by Toyota? yes. that's the reality we live in. Trying to muscle in on Toyota’s green battery fun image is like trying to knock BMW off the driving involvement perch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Realy? there hasn't been chevy cop cars in La for at least a decade or more. its all crown vics
        • 5 Years Ago
        But a Toyota is somehow better? Prior to the Prius the same was true of Toyota. Do you think Larry David drove a Carola before he sported the Prius?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Reading the commentary on this idiotic last hurrah of the looters at GM, UAW and the US government astounds me.

      How can people NOT be angry enough to boycott GM?

      They've re-invented themself for sure, same old garbage sprayed with a shiny new color: tax dollar green sprayed over their red ink.

      People should really stop flapping their arms and pretending that reality is whatever they claim it is. This car doesn't save the environment, it doesn't revolutionize the automobile, and it's been funded with looted tax dollars.

      Yeah, like I'd throw another 40,000 dollars at this heap. I wouldn't drive one of GM paid me to!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Right on! You are absolutely right. This is all a sham. It must hurt people to think these days.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wait so the federal government gave away $30 million to help advertise the Volt in California working with electric utilities. Thanks for wasting more of my money.

      Of course the broke California utilities want a whole bunch of Volts sold. They will use it as an excuse to raise electric rates on everyone. That is another hidden cost with electric vehicles. If your neighbors buy one you will be paying more for your own electricity.

      What did Obama say again, "Energy costs would necessarily skyrocket under my cap and trade system". Electric cars are a great way for that to happen.

      People think that electric cars will cost less to run than gasoline cars. That may be true for a very short time but without adding any new power generation capabilities all of these electric cars will be competing for the power you need to run everything else. When that happens electric rates will skyrocket and the Volt may cost $15 to generate the power to recharge for that 40 miles. Not to mention your total electric bill rising 200-300%.

      That is why electric cars fail. Even if we do build fast recharge stations all over the place we still need to build massive numbers of new power plants to generate the power in the first place. That means nuclear because little piddly wind farms aren't going to do it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't care if it's ammunition. It's accurate. If accurate is ammunition, then so be it, you want to take into account as much accurate info as you can.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Most EVs charge after midnight when usage and E-9 rates are lowest.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If the cost of your electricity went up 2x-3x I think your car will be the least of your worries. People are so short sighted it's damn near comical were it not so sad. A 3 fold increase in the price of electricity is what bankrupted Californians.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ls2Ls7 - I think you gave him ammunition to make his point in a more rational way. "If" electricity would rise to the point that it would cost $3 to drive 40 miles, one could claim that it is no more cost effective than purchasing one gallon and driving 40 miles in a small car. Not that I think it is a great point.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If electric cars sell in enough numbers that electricity skyrockets 1000 fold, the market will take over and people will buy gas cars again as gas would be the less expensive option. Your scenario can only come true in the absence of an alternative. So unless the ICE is outlawed in favor of electric cars, this scenario can not happen.

        Put some numbers behind the claim. Where is the tipping point? How many EV cars charging equates to how much of a total electric price increase? It should be a direct ration with the way you are tossing around apocalyptic scenarios.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If the cost of electricity (your total electric bill) went up 2-3X, it still would only cost $3 to buy the electricity needed to go the 40 mile range, including the cost of generation, distribution and profit for the utilities (right now it costs $1).

        Figures undercut your exciting end of the world story.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car looks great! About time an auto maker makes a new kind of auto. That looks good! all these others look like a bad dream!!! Ugly! I hope that in this tentative stage. It does do well!! But I know . Once it gets popular!?? The'll charge big MONEY for charging your car!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      that thing is so ugly, just an expensive malibu
      • 5 Years Ago
      My wife would rip off the front end, the first day she would drive it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The EV-1 was a total success. The cars that were leased by GM to the public were loved for both performance and range but, the petroleum industry realized the potential for battery powered vehicles would cut severely into profits if the concept caught on. They convinced members who sat on the boards GM held significant stock holdings in Exxon, to withold support for the EV-1, thereby killing the electric car program. Apparently, the Obama administartion now having controlling interest in GM, have convinced the company to resurect the program with introduction of the Volt. Finally, the public will have the choice they deserve
        • 5 Years Ago
        You can say that again.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So much hate from people who never cared about GM products to begin with so who cares what you think
      • 5 Years Ago
      If memory serves me correctly, this is right out of the scion launch handbook. If they do it correctly this could go very well, as california is looked at by outsiders as a trendsetter(Not that I agree with that statement).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Considering it's the home of Silicon Valley (where tech trends are born) and Hollywood (celebrity central) the only other trendsetting location in the US is NYC (fashion) and to a lesser extent Miami, and I'm sure that's coming right after California (NY).

        If you don't agree tell us where else is trendsetting please?
        • 5 Years Ago
        NYC and other parts of the east coast aren't limited to fashion you know...but yes, California does set a large number of trends good and bad.
        Still, a lot of the stuff that comes out of LA is crap whereas clearly, everything coming out of NYC is always awesome.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Stating that California is the most environmentally friendly and fuel efficient state as suggested in the base article is absolutely false!

      It is because of the inflexible and innovation stifling CARB and CEC regulations that we do not have thousands of small diesel-electric hybrids on the road today. This hyper-efficient technology has been around for the past 15 years (see the PNGV of the 1990s) and it is still not allowed in California. Because this largest U. S. car market would not allow these cars the industry did not further develop the technology.

      People get up tight about GM killing the electric car - well California Killed the Hyper-Mileage small diesel-electric hybrid car.

      And, the State of California is directly responsible for our military involvement in the Gulf. Sometimes we have to think this stuff through.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Diesels can be sold in California as long as they are as clean as the dirtiest gas car offered for sale in the US. The only reason these Diesels you speak of were pulled off the market is because they were a lot dirtier than this. How is causing environmentally unfriendly engines to be pulled off the market environmentally unfriendly?

        Diesels are sold in California right now, I bet there were more Diesels sold in California than in at least 47 other states this year. So how do you claim Diesels are still "illegal" in California right now?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hey all this green crap is just that....crap. Is any one paying attention?! They just BUSTED the climate scientists for holding back the real truth about global warmimg. They just wanted their funding to continue. ANY climatologist will tell you that we are living IN BETWEEN ice ages. This short 10,000 year warm up allowed us to get to this level. An ice age will over take us again. The sun is almost at its solar maximum. It will reach its height in 2012. Electric cars are cool and are a great idea. But until they make them for the every man, like Henry Ford, it will only be a pipe dream. And what powers those power plants that now run on fossil fuels, to handle this added load of rechargable cars? It's not wind and solar.Think people think.
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