Even as nimble electric vehicle rival Tesla Motors basks in the glory of its IPO this week and updates to its Roadster, venerable Detroit auto giant GM is keeping the Volt electric car front and center with some major news updates. These include details on how many vehicles will be in production as well as new markets it will initially launch in.
GM said it plans to produce 10,000 Volts by the end of the 2011 calendar year, followed by 30,000 Volts the next year. The company also added Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the roll out, bringing the total initial retail markets to seven. The others include California, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. It will initially launch in California, Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas and the New York City metropolitan area later this year, with more inventory expected to arrive at dealerships in Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut, as well as the balance of Texas and New York in the first quarter of 2011. GM will then continue to add Volts during the second model year, with it being available in all 50 states 12 to 18 months after the initial launch.
As part of its “celebration” for the new markets, GM employees are driving a Volt on a “Freedom Drive” over four days. The already started voyage will cover 1,776 miles from Austin to New York City. Those wanting to follow this driving journey, which will stop in Little Rock, AR on July 1; Nashville, TN and Roanoke, VA on July 2; Washington, D.C. and Frederick, MD on July 3; Philadelphia, PA and finally, New York City on July 4, can do so online or via Twitter.
“This drive is a demonstration of the freedom the Volt will provide customers – freedom to drive where you want, when you want,” said Tony DiSalle, director of product marketing for Chevrolet Volt, in a statement. “Whether you are driving 50 miles or 1,750 miles, the Volt is the only electric vehicle that can be a family’s primary car.”