• Jan 25, 2010
2011 Chevrolet Volt - Click above for high-res image gallery

In advance of the 2010 Washington Auto Show, Chevrolet has announced that the greater Washington D.C. area will join California and Michigan as initial launch markets for its upcoming plug-in hybrid electric Chevrolet Volt. The automaker has also announced cooperative programs with Pepco and Dominion, two D.C.-area utilities, to help establish vehicle charging programs and further introduce customers to electric vehicles.
"Concentrating Volt sales in these three key initial markets allows us to give our first customers a high-quality experience," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet general manager. "In addition to geographical considerations, each market also has progressive local and state government leaders and utility partners who are crucial in bringing electric vehicles to market."
Overall, more than 100 Volts will be delivered to utilities around the U.S. as part of an extended demonstration pilot to gauge customer feedback. The program, made possible with a $30 million grant administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, will install 500 charging stations for residential, business and public use. Chevy has also teamed with other utilities in California and Michigan for similar programs in those local markets. Full press release after the jump.



[Source: General Motors]

PRESS RELEASE

  • Washington D.C. joins California and Michigan as a Chevrolet Volt lead retail market
  • Simultaneous rollout of Volt in lead retail markets
  • Chevrolet partners with D.C.-area utilities Dominion and Pepco in development and demonstration program
  • Chevrolet presents growing family of fuel-efficient small and compact cars with Spark, Aveo RS show car and Cruze

WASHINGTON – Chevrolet announced that greater Washington D.C. will be an initial launch market for the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range. The nation's capital and its suburbs join California and Michigan as the initial retail markets where Chevrolet will sell the Volt to consumers.

"The Chevrolet Volt demonstrates our commitment to the electrification of the automobile," said Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman, Global Product Operations. "So far, we have invested more than $700 million in the U.S. to reinforce our leadership in this new technology."

Chevrolet also announced a development and demonstration program with D.C.-area utilities Pepco and Dominion to introduce customers to electric vehicles and establish vehicle charging programs.

"Concentrating Volt sales in these three key initial markets allows us to give our first customers a high-quality experience," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet general manager. "In addition to geographical considerations, each market also has progressive local and state government leaders and utility partners who are crucial in bringing electric vehicles to market."

Chevrolet will deliver more than 100 Volts to several utilities across the U.S. – including Pepco and Dominion, which serve Washington D.C. 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. They will be used to learn more about the installation process, vehicle charging and to gauge customer feedback.

The program is made possible 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. Chevrolet has announced similar partnerships with several utilities in California and Michigan, as well as the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability. It is designed to drive up to 40 miles on electricity without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the Volt's lithium-ion battery is depleted, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range if there is no access to an electrical outlet to recharge the battery, providing peace of mind by eliminating range anxiety. Volt production begins later this year, and pricing has not been announced.

Testing in real conditions

The Chevrolet Volt has already logged more than a quarter-million test miles on pre-production vehicles, some of which are in service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Accomplishments include:

Chevrolet is using OnStar technology to refine the development of the current fleet of about 80 pre-production vehicles
Testing under extreme climates and conditions, including hot-weather testing in Death Valley, cold-weather testing in northern Canada; and mountain testing at Pikes Peak
The building of more than 300 pre-production battery packs
Technology beyond the battery

Chevrolet is expanding the Volt ownership experience with a smartphone (Droid by Motorola, Apple iPhone and BlackBerry Storm) application by OnStar that gives Volt owners 24/7 connection and control of vehicle function and OnStar features remotely.

Through Volt's mobile application, drivers can set or check charging, manually set grid-friendly charge modes for off-peak times, pre-condition the interior temperature using electricity and not gasoline, check EV range and more.

Other driver-friendly technologies include touch-sensitive controls on the center stack and screen; a fully digital interface that allows two-way interaction, personalization and access to information; and real-time feedback that provides guidance on how to drive more efficiently.

Chevrolet grows its family of small and compact cars

Chevrolet presents its family of fuel-efficient small cars at the auto show – including the Spark five-door mini car, Aveo RS show car and Cruze compact sedan. Revealed earlier this month in Detroit, the Aveo RS show car features a European-inspired hot hatch design that strongly hints at the upcoming Aveo production car.

Here's a deeper look at the cars:


Chevrolet Spark : The five-door Chevrolet Spark, the smallest member of Chevrolet's family of cars, brings style, roominess and versatility to a segment of extremely fuel-efficient small cars. Spark will provide great fuel economy, and its trim size makes it very agile in all kinds of driving conditions while still feeling substantial on the open road. The U.S. production version of the Spark will go on sale in early 2012.

"This small vehicle makes a big statement," said Margaret Brooks, Chevrolet marketing director for small cars. "With its fresh, youthful approach, we believe Spark will appeal to customers who want excellent fuel economy, functionality and style at an affordable price."

More details on the U.S. version of the Spark will be announced at a later date.

Chevrolet Aveo RS show car : The Aveo RS show car provides a glimpse of what designers have in mind for the future production car. Its electric Boracay Blue finish, motorcycle-inspired exposed headlamps and taillamps, low roofline, fender flares, large wheels and tires, and dual-cockpit interior hint at the next-generation Aveo.

"The current Aveo is a major player in Chevrolet's global small-car portfolio," said Campbell. "Our intent with the Aveo RS show car is to demonstrate Chevrolet's vision and design potential for a small car we think customers will love."

Focusing on Aveo's target audience of young buyers, Chevrolet gave the show car a sporty appearance inside and out. An aggressive front fascia; clean, uninterrupted body side lines; an integrated rear roof spoiler; wide stance; and large, 19-inch, five-spoke wheels with a gun metal metallic Chevrolet logo and Boracay Blue brake calipers suggest upscale style and dynamic handling.

The Boracay Blue continues inside, with accent stitching in the instrument panel dual cockpit, front and rear door panels, gear shift boot, parking brake and seat bolster.

The Aveo RS show car features the same small-displacement 1.4L Ecotec turbocharged engine that will be available in the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze. Delivering 138 horsepower (103 kW), it performs like two powerplants in one, with the fuel economy of a small engine and the performance of a larger one. In the Aveo RS show car, the 1.4L turbo is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

Chevrolet has previously announced the new Aveo will be built at Orion Assembly in Orion Township, Mich., in 2011, a move that will restore 1,200 jobs to Southeast Michigan. Plant retooling is scheduled to begin later this year.

Chevrolet Cruze : The North American production version of the 2011 Cruze compact sedan makes its first visit to Washington show-goers. Already on sale in Asia and Europe with strong market acceptance, the Cruze has been refined for America, bringing a midsize car presence to the compact sedan segment.

Cruze will deliver many segment-leading features, more interior room and more cargo capacity than the competition, as well as upscale amenities such as Bluetooth, USB and navigation. It offers midsize roominess, safety and amenities with the fuel economy and expected price of a compact car. Cruze features 10 standard air bags and has achieved five-star safety ratings in every market where it is sold.

Cruze is expected to deliver segment-leading fuel economy with a new Ecotec 1.4L I-4 turbo with variable valve timing – including up to 40 mpg on the highway with a high-efficiency model. The all-new Cruze will be built in Lordstown, Ohio beginning in the third quarter.



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  • 31 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      If we exclude the politicians, how many Washington DC citizens can afford any new car, much less the latest tech car?
        • 4 Years Ago
        OK, but...

        The poverty rate in DC is above the national average. If you exclude politicians, it's going to be every higher.

        I guess my point is that this move is clearly targeting politicians.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ummm....a lot?
        • 4 Years Ago
        DC is often compared to states when it should be compared to cities. Few politicians live in DC. Most live in northern Virginia and the suburbs. The number of politicians in the region still isn't a dent in the population though. Regardless, much of DC is doing fine. The population is on the rise for the first time in decades. DC is actually about to top NYC when it comes to office prices and even has good bond ratings right now. Also, look at the areas around DC. They're some of the richest in the country. There's no doubt that part of the move is to be visible to politicians, but to think that's the only reason and that the region can't afford them is not the case. The region is never hit as hard as the rest of the country because of all of the contracts in the area. Many companies have headquarters in the region as well since northern Virginia is very friendly to businesses and some Maryland counties have stepped up and become very viable as well. Even Northrop Grumman will be moving to the region this year.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ouch. That car hurts me right in the wallet as a taxpayer. I hope the traitors who buy them feel good about my slave labor. However you look at it, GM is fascism.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Federal government spending $60,000 a piece for 220V electrical outlets.

      Why is our economy in the toilet again?
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's funny, I thought it was brought about by banks lending money they didn't have to people who couldn't afford them so they could buy housing that was way, way overpriced. Silly me, it was *really* all about 220v electric stations. Thanks for clearing that up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Has there even been a more hyped car than this one? Holy crap...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Geez. . .who but tree-huggers are going to buy this thing? It's ugly! Everything about the design is w-a-y over scaled (i.e. thicker than necessary). For instance, look at the thickness of the roof pillars. They appear to be a foot thick. And why? The over-scaled details make the car look like the 'safety vehicles' of the 60s and 70s when manufacturers were attempting to come up with designs for future accident survivable cars (most of which were atrocious looking) and the Volt has that same look. It's very VERY heavy looking, very 'fat' appearing and it begs the question 'why'? Why can't an alternative-powered car look as stylish, as light, as sleek as anyother car? Why do designers feel they have to make them look like baked potatoes on wheels? I don't get it. Since 'design' is the number one reason why people are attracted to one car over another, why shoot yourself in the foot and market a car (which, granted, you'd want the public to warm to at first sight) that looks so UNattractive?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice I'll get to see some of these running around 95 then
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Volt does not *require* a charging station so if there isn't one around the owner can still the regular ICE to charge the batteries and still get home...or drive to Alaska for that matter. However, 95% of the population will be able to use this car for all their daily activities without ever using the ICE.

      Your comment about the "infrastructure (like the grid, recharge stations) " not being in place is flawed as well. Owners will likely be charging their cars during the night when the demand is lowest so the grid will not need immediate upgrades. As the car (and others like it that follow) becomes more popular upgrades may be necessary but that's a long way off.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Shortly after the General Motors announcement was made, Dominion released a statement announcing that they would be deploying squads of Jem'Hadar troops to promote awareness of the Volt."
      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone believe Pelosi iand her lackies are on the list to get one first?

      Naaah... She'll keep driving her big SUV and then continue to reprimand the company that built it.

        • 4 Years Ago
        You mean regular plane trips in her tax payer paid private plane.

        That's even worse than owning a bloody SUV she doesn't even drive.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Too bad! This car is about ...

        ...10 yrs behind the TOYOTA Prius!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Her taxpayer plane was mandated by Pres. Bush since she is 3rd in line to the Presidency, Pres. Bush was concerned by the success of the 9/11 terrorists attack on Wash DC. The same rule was applied to the previous Speaker, Republican Dennis Hastert.
        • 4 Years Ago
        thank you 'comments" for autoblog, apologies to the rest for the double entry
        • 4 Years Ago
        @My_SS_RX8

        Get your facts out of here! This is the time for tea-party whargargarbl.

        Obama! Socialists! Libs libs libs!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Her plane was mandated by President Bush after the successful terrorist attack of 9/11 of Wash. DC. Since she is 3rd in line to the Pesidency, President Bush was concerned for her safety and the continuity of the US Government. The same statues governing her use were applied to Republicans Dennis Hastert and Newt Gingrich her immediate predecessors.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I know the gm err government is doing its best to sell these with 7500 rebate but apart from the fact the infrastructure (like the grid, recharge stations) are not in place. Coupled that with cost and high maintenance i do not see volt succeeding.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They have given rebates for all sorts of hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles over the years, it's not solely singling out the Volt. They are just giving a larger rebate for the Volt due to its larger battery capacity. If another automaker came out with a vehicle that had a similarly-sized battery, they'd get a similarly-sized rebate as well.

        Do you not recall the rebates given for the Prius & Jetta TDI, natural gas Civics etc?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Another day,another Volt article.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I will never purchase another GM product as long as the union thugs and their DC support base think it economical to steal $7500 dollars from someone just to make this car economical. Even at $32500 base price, how many of these cars will be purchased by your average citizen? Ill take a $18,000 ford fiesta, get 40mpg, pocket the additional 15 grand and support a company who had the guts and foresight to not steal from the American people.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There's only one way to get your tax money back; buy a Volt!
        • 4 Years Ago
        i hope these teaparty guys take blood pressure meds, they seem to be on full anger, fury alert, 24/7. pretty anal bunch, i wonder if they ever laugh at themselves for any reason. probably not.
        • 4 Years Ago
        travisty



        or the bluehair teabaggers carrying signs that said " don't take my medicare money to pay for national health care"

        and since this is an auto blog, we might throw in all the federal tax breaks, federal loans to states, union free, tax free contracts given by the southern states to attract foreign auto manufacturers, the total amount no one is even sure of since it is line item pork wrapped into so many other bills. but shhhhhhh! we don't discuss that out loud.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lame. GM didn't "steal" anything. If you want to hate the bailout, do so upon the merits of the reality of the situation, but stop with the neocon bull$hit speak. It's really annoying.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The best part is that the rebate on the Volt will come at the next time you file your taxes. The money does not do to GM atthe point of sale That means that the buyer must pay and get the 40 plus grand from the banks and pay interest on the total amount.

        I am one that the Volt would fit into my life well, but not at 40, 45, 50 grand with the dealer mark up
        • 4 Years Ago
        My_SS - My mother was horrified at the government assistance that was coming out of Washington... until my sister was eligible for the $6500 current homebuyer credit and a home loan backed by Fannie/Freddie. Somehow government spending is only bad when it benefits other people.
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