DETROIT — General Motors said today it plans to send six Chevrolet Volts on a 3,400-mile cross-country tour to demonstrate the hybrid’s extended-range capability and celebrate its public debut.
According to GM, the plug-in hybrid vehicle offers a 25- to 50-mile driving range on a single electric charge, with a 111 kW (roughly 150 hp) electric motor, capable of 0-to-60-mph acceleration in about nine seconds. When the Volt’s battery runs out of power — after the 25 to 50 miles — the vehicle uses gasoline to generate more electricity keeping it going for “hundreds of miles.” It also can be plugged in for a recharge.
The cross-country drive, which Chevrolet has dubbed the “Volt Unplugged” tour, will run from Oct. 9 in Seattle to Nov. 20 in Chicago. Customers will be able to test drive the Volt and meet the engineering and design team.
“The Volt Unplugged tour will give people a chance to get behind the wheel of the Volt and find out for themselves what makes this vehicle so special,” Chevy spokesman Tony DiSalle said in a statement.
“This drive will demonstrate the one-of-a-kind capabilities of the Volt, the only electric vehicle able to drive such long distances under a variety of driving conditions and climates without having to stop to recharge.”
During the tour, Chevrolet will offer educational programs to the public about the Volt itself and the development of the nation’s electric car infrastructure.
Chevrolet announced that it will begin production of the Volt on Nov. 11 in GM’s Detroit/Hamtramck plant. In December, it will release the vehicle on a limited basis to dealers in California; Texas; New York; New Jersey; Connecticut; Michigan; and Washington, D.C. The regular release of the vehicle will occur over the next 12 to 18 months.
The suggested retail price of the Volt is $41,000, including freight charges, and it will be eligible for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits. At present there is no pre-order option for the vehicle.