It has been twenty years now since GM unveiled its Impact electric concept, which ultimately led to the EV1 electric car. Not everybody heard about the EV1 though, because it was confined mostly to California on limited leasing agreements. We all know how the EV1 turned out.
But with bankruptcy behind them, it is a new day for GM, and a new day for electric cars. The much ballyhooed Volt is making marked improvements as it moves from mule to pre-production models. Just like the EV1 before it, the Volt will enjoy a limited 2011 launch in a few test markets prior to a country wide launch in 2012. The first of those test markets, as GM announced today at the 2009 LA Auto Show, will be environmentally-conscious California.
Why? Well, if we want to get right down to brass knuckles, California probably represents the best market for the Volt at launch. Cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco are offering up major help installing the plug-in infrastructure needed, and the state is home to a lot of other electric competition like Tesla.
GM is working with three suppliers of electricity to prep the state in advance of its Volt invasion. Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and Sacramento Municipal Utility District are the utilities, who with help from non-profit Electric Power Research Institute will spread the Volt gospel. Although GM expects to sell about 8,000 to 10,000 Volts to consumers in 2011, GM is also going to lease a small group of Volts to business and government entities.
Whatever your feelings on the Volt, GM is charging ahead with their promise of making the concept an affordable reality. We will see.
Turn the page for the full press release.
Source: General Motors