General Motors has admitted for well over a year that when the Chevrolet Volt goes on sale late this year, it would initially only be available in selected markets. The idea is to offer the car in regions that are most amenable to the use of plug-in vehicles so that drivers can maximize the amount of time that they spend running on grid power. Limited first-year production expected to be in the range of 8,000-10,000 units will also necessitate some rationing.
California, which has long tried to mandate plug-in vehicles and already has a decent number of public charging stations will be at the top of the list. Other regions where the climate supports use of renewable energy like solar will likely also make the cut. Even though Michigan may not seem to be the most EV friendly environment, as the home of both GM and the Volt factory, it too will be an initial market thanks to a partnership between GM and DTE Energy.
DTE will be one of several utilities that will be getting some of the more than 100 pilot-build Volts that will be distributed starting this summer. Those utilities will also participate in installing at least 500 charging stations in public places as well as businesses and residential parking areas.