GM Speeds Volt Rollout, Says No To Loan

Resurgent General Motors offered fresh evidence recently of its growing confidence, speeding up the rollout of the Chevrolet Volt and telling the federal government it wouldn’t be needing $14.4 billion in direct loans to build fuel-efficient cars after all.

The Volt was recently launched in five states – New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and Texas – as well as the Washington, D.C., area, and GM’s cautious plan had called for just Michigan to join that list in the coming months. But citing a “surge of consumer interest,” the company said 11 more states – Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii – would get the car in the third quarter, and that it would be available in all 50 states by the end of the year. The company also said customers nationwide would be able to place Volt orders in the second quarter this year.

GM Chevrolet Volt

image via GM

“This is the right thing to do for our customers and our dealers who are seeing increased traffic onto their showroom floors,” said Rick Scheidt, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet marketing.

The GM announcement didn’t say the expanded availability meant it would produce more than the 10,000 Volts it had previously said it would manufacture this year. However, the Detroit News reported the automaker is considering “doubling or tripling” production in 2012 to more than 120,000 vehicles. Last July, GM said it would make 30,000 Volts in 2012, but that figure had already grown to 45,000.

GM Chevrolet Volt revised rollout map

image via GM

As for the federal loan, GM said it felt it could go forward with producing fuel-efficient vehicles without it, and that withdrawing its application was consistent with its goal of carrying a minimal debt load.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

  • Richpandolfi

    Why spend $40Ku00a0u00a0u00a0 a Priusu00a0 with 50mpg is $26Ku00a0u00a0 Why would a sane intelligent human by the volt unless he wants to be a show offnAfter this group runs out the it will become another Prowler or T bird –looks goods sounds better but no takersnReduce the price to Prius and Insight levels – buildin high volumes and it will be a winner since the technology is better