Chevy ships first 160 Volts to dealers

By McClatchy Tribune Newspapers
Posted Dec. 14, 2010 at 10:34 a.m.

Five trucks carrying Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric cars left General Motors Co.’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant Monday, marking the first shipment to dealers after nearly four years of expectation.

GM said it expected 160 Volts to ship this week to its initial markets: California; Austin, Texas; New York City; and Washington, D.C.
Production started in early November, as reported by the Free Press. The plant has built more than 300 models for customers, said Doug Parks, chief engineer for the car.

GM had said customers might receive Volts by  late November or early December. The first Nissan Leaf, a pure electric car and a rival to the Volt, was delivered to a customer on Saturday, kicking off the sale of mass-market electrics.

Since the Volt is GM’s first extended-range electric, Parks said, engineers decided to do a little more quality testing before approving the cars for shipping. That included sending some to Alaska a couple of weeks ago to test how they started and drove in frigid temperatures, when batteries are under extreme stress, he said.

“Could we have shipped it a few weeks ago? Probably,” Parks said. “We really didn’t uncover any big quality issues.”

The vehicles should arrive at dealerships this week, he said.

GM announced the Volt concept at the 2007 Detroit Auto Show.

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