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Chevy Volt to hit the roads (quietly) soon

Enthusiasts will find plenty to like about the Volt


J. Scott Applewhite / AP

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The Chevy Volt on display at the Washington Auto Show. Chevy says it is gearing up to begin production this spring with mass production by November.

Since its announcement three years ago, the Chevrolet Volt has seemed like one of those perpetually out-of-reach technologies, like fusion power or flying cars.

No longer.

General Motors is gearing up now to manufacture the Volt beginning this spring, reported Tony Posawatz, Chevrolet Volt and global electric vehicle line director.

The company began manufacturing battery packs to go into the cars in recent weeks. The rest of the manufacturing supply chain is coming together so the factory will start assembling cars within a few months, he said. It will begin slowly, making preproduction models that will be evaluated for their quality and provided as test models for journalists and fleet customers through the Summer and Fall.

By November, GM will be ready to switch to high gear and begin mass production of cars for retail sale to regular consumers. Those early cars will be offered only in limited markets which the company feels are prepared to support the special requirements of an electric car, Posawatz said.

So far, California, Michigan and the Washington D.C., area are the only announced markets where the car will be sold, but Volt sales will open up to the rest of the country next year.

In anticipation of the approaching launch of the car, GM provided a hand-built Volt prototype for a test drive around the former American Le Mans Series race track adjacent to Washington’s RFK stadium.

The driver doesn’t wave a magic wand or operate some unfamiliar control device to drive the Volt; there is no steering-by-joystick or other silly interface. The car powers up with the increasingly common keyless “start” button on the dash. A conventional console shifter slides between the common “Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, Low” positions, and the “gas” pedal and brake perform their usual functions.

Read the rest of the story here.

By Dan Carney contributor

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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