Rolling Out the Chevy Volt

Excerpted from Washington Post, “GM’s Volt to Debut in Washington, Bay Area”, by Kendra Marr, February 5, 2009

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General Motors’ new plug-in electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, will go on sale in Washington and San Francisco first, the automaker announced this week, as it began laying plans to work with area government and power companies to ease the car’s introduction.

The San Francisco Bay Area was an obvious choice to be one of the first plugged-in cities. A warm climate combined with a wealthy, tech-savvy population has boosted sales of the Toyota Prius.

The D.C. region’s relatively high concentration of hybrid vehicles suggested people in this area were also willing to pay more for a vehicle with better fuel economy.

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It also helps to have an iconic car like the Volt close to Washington’s power brokers, who will soon be considering additional federal loans for the struggling automaker.

“You want your clean technologies to be very visible and build trust with public policy makers, even if city isn’t the ideal in demographics or in terms of infrastructure.”

“What we’re talking about is signaling to decision makers in Washington that the car is on its way to not just America, but to your garage.”

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The goal is to create strategies that make the pricey technology more attractive for Washington drivers, in hopes of eventually ramping up production. High manufacturing volumes means cheaper batteries and cheaper cars.

In addition, the automaker hopes the governments themselves will become early adopters, setting an example by buying large fleets of plug-ins.

Edit by DAF

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