The 2011 Chevrolet Volt may very well be the most anticipated Chevrolet in recent history with a close competitor being the debut of the redesign Camaro last year. However, the Volt embodies the “new” GM and their renewed dedication to providing consumers leading edge designs and automotive solutions to get them to and from work and everywhere in-between. Earlier this week, Ed Whitacre announced during a press conference in Detroit that consumers would see the new 2011 Chevrolet Volt in select dealerships in October—a month earlier than expected.

2011 Chevrolet Volt MPV5 concept, Unveiled at 2010 Beijing Motor Show

2011 Chevrolet Volt MPV5 concept, Unveiled at 2010 Beijing Motor Show

Now for some this is impressive and for others it is the sign of a conclusion to a story that seems to have drawn on longer than The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. No matter what side of the parking curb you fall on the important thing to recognize here is that Chevrolet has followed through. The Volt is a car that we weren’t sure would ever make it—it came at a time that wasn’t very good for GM, but managed to pull through. Now the question is will they sell? Will consumers embrace it?

GM is planning on building approximately 8,000 volts for the first production year. That seems about right considering the introduction of the Honda CR-Z in Japan recently (more here). The second year sees a large jump to 60,000 units, which seems to indicate an expected increase in consumer adoption. Just to recap, the Volt is rated to achieve a range of 40 miles on all-electric power with additional mileage beyond that provided by “range extender” mode. This is where the highway divides and the Chevrolet becomes one of the first mass produced vehicles to have the engine act as a generator to provide power to the electric motors once the battery is depleted. The proper term for the Volt is an extended range electric vehicle (EREV) unlike plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) like the up and coming Toyota Prius Plug-in.

Bottom line—the 2011 Chevrolet Volt shows innovation coming out of GM and it could conceivably eat away at the strong hold Toyota has had on the hybrid market. Now all we need is another “Buy American Made” campaign and the Volt will be all set. Oh yeah, and if you are in the market for an multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) check out the recently released Volt MPV5 concept from Beijing.


Be sure to roll over and plug into for their report and more details on the press conference.