First 2011 Chevy Volts Leave Plant, Head To CA, TX, DC & NY

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2011 Chevrolet Volt outside Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant

2011 Chevrolet Volt outside Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant

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Production of the world's first range-extended electric car is now a reality.

Today, the first shipment of 2011 Chevrolet Volt electric cars left the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. The cars are bound for dealers and buyers in the initial launch markets: California, Texas, New York, and Washington, D.C.

Today's shipment comes exactly four years after Chevrolet began briefing the press, under embargo, about the Chevrolet Volt concept car it would unveil at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show. That concept became the 2011 Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle.

Chevrolet publicity included the usual carefully-crafted corporate statement, couched in a language very much like English. “Today is a historic milestone for Chevrolet,” said Tony DiSalle, the latest marketing director for the 2011 Volt.

“We have redefined automotive transportation with the Volt," he continued, "and soon the first customers will be able to experience gas-free commuting with the freedom to take an extended trip whenever or wherever they want.”

Chevrolet said it expects to ship 160 vehicles this week, in contrast to the very small handful of the first 2011 Nissan Leaf electric cars to be delivered to buyers in a few cities before the end of the year. The very first 2011 Leaf was delivered to a retail buyer in San Francisco on Saturday.

Fifteen pre-production Volts were delivered earlier this year to electric-vehicle advocates, technology enthusiasts, and other influential early adopters who formed the Volt Customer Advisory Board. They are taking part in a 90-day evaluation of the vehicle and its associated 240-Volt charging station.

The 2011 Chevy Volt is the only mass-produced electric car being manufactured in the U.S. Its 16-kilowatt-hour battery pack provides roughly 40 miles of all-electric driving, after which a 1.4-liter gasoline engine switches on to generate power that operates the electric drive motor.

Total range from both modes is up to 379 miles, Chevrolet says.


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Comments (3)
  1. Very stoked to see the Volt actually getting into customer hands. 160 for the first week is a pretty good number.
    Also for the 2011 model year GM will produce 15,000 Volts. What's interesting is they will switch to the 2012 model year about midway through 2011 so we may end up seeing quite a few Volt next year. Since they plan on producing 45,000 for the 2012 model year.

  2. @Khadgars: Actually, as I understand it, the figure of 10,000 for the first year applies to the number of Volts to be built between now and the end of *calendar* 2011 (though GM has said it's looking at ways to raise that number). Then the 45,000 figure is for calendar 2012.

  3. I am really pleased to see GM getting the Volt out in real numbers. I am absolutely NOT impressed with what Nissan is doing to "claim 2010 deliveries" of the Leaf. It would appear that fewer than a dozen actual Leaf vehicles will be delivered this year from even the first 200 orders Nissan confirmed on 31 August and assured all of us that those cars would arrive in "3-4 months from ordering."
    I ordered and confirmed my Leaf on 31 August and a new red VOLT just a bit earlier (5 August), as it took me 2-3 weeks to find a regional Chevy dealer who would even take an order at MSRP. ALL the closer, Sacramento area, Chevy dealers refused to take early orders and made responses like " we are going to wait to set market pricing when the cars actually arrive." I was ready to give up on the Volt and finally found Fairfield Chevrolet willing to order for me at MSRP. My Volt can be tracked thru production and is due for leaving the line on 20 December, so there should be a new addition to our garage by at least the first week or so of January if not earlier.
    And our new Leaf MIGHT arrive at the end of January...MIGHT, MIGHT.

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