Chevrolet Volt Arriving in Less than a Month, GM Is Exuberant

With the first deliveries of the Chevy Volt taking place next month, General Motors is on its path to a green future, probably filled with success.

The automaker will mark the occasion with a celebration at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant, where the Volt entered production this month. GM CEO Daniel Ackerson will be attending, along with local officials.

The Volt is of crucial importance to GM, as the company is recovering from a sales downturn and near bankruptcy. GM is now trying to build its image as a greener, forward-thinking company. The carmaker hopes that the Volt will confer its lead in the race towards zero-emission mobility. And it has a better chance of success than the EV1 all-electric vehicle GM rolled out in the late 1990s.

Analysts say that the Volt's unique powertrain will ease consumers into the EV market by offering the benefits of low emissions associated with EVs without the accompanying "range anxiety". Yet GM still has to overcome high battery costs and the lack of infrastructure if it wants a piece of the growing EV market. The Volt will be produced in small numbers at start, 10,000 in 2011, expanding to 45,000 in 2012, so that its sales won't cripple those of the mainstream market.

GM officials believe that the Volt provides the right balance between innovation and convention, being not so far away from traditional vehicles in terms of technology. The Volt offers 25 to 50 miles of all-electric driving before the gas engine starts producing electricity, extending the range by 344 miles.

Dealers expect the Volt to sell out immediately, with orders and deposits exceeding the number of vehicles GM has allocated. GM declined to disclose the number of pre-ordered Volts.
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