Chevrolet has announced that it expects to begin offering sales of its highly anticipated electric car, the Volt, in all 50 states by the end of 2011. The car manufacturer will begin selling the Volt in a handful of states earlier in the year so that they can keep track of any initial problems and fine tune the production methods before the car is more widely available. The Volt has the ability to run strictly on electric power for 35 miles when it has a full charge. If the car needs to go further, a gasoline-powered generator provides the extra power to keep the car on the road until it reaches its destination. Some Chevy dealerships are already accepting down payments on Volts, even though Chevrolet has not released a sale price for the electric car yet.
Chevy’s Plan for Expedited Release
During its first year of production, Chevrolet plans to manufacture and deliver 10,000 Volts. Demand for the car is high enough that dealerships may charge more than the recommended sticker price during the first year of sales. In 2012, Chevrolet will manufacture 30,000 Volts. The car will be offered to six states during the first few months of release, then made available to the other 44 states in early fall of 2011. Chevrolet needs to wait until dealerships in all 50 states have the technology to repair and maintain the new vehicles before it can release them everywhere.
Nissan Couldn’t Make it Happen
Nissan has also begun production on an electric powered car called the Leaf. The Leaf is able to travel up to 100 miles on a full charge, but has no gasoline backup for further travel once the battery has been depleted. Nissan is having trouble meeting the demands of customers for delivery, though. Consumers who purchased the cars in the summer of last year are still waiting for their new cars to be delivered. If the Leaf is any indication, Chevy may have trouble reaching its goal of selling to all 50 states within the first year.
No Problems Finding Customers
With gasoline prices on the rise again and a new push for more environmentally friendly automobile options, the Volt should have no trouble finding people who are interested in purchasing the car once it is widely available. Chevy wants to have a hassle-free first couple of years while they introduce this new technology to consumers. If there are widespread delays or technical difficulties, consumer interest in the product could wane quickly. People seem to be willing to pay the higher cost for the new car, but Chevy needs to make it easy to buy and maintain in order to realize long-term success.
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