With demand for the Chevy Volt extended-range electric vehicle running high, Chevrolet is—unsurprisingly—working hard to get more cars to local dealerships in the Volt’s launch markets. But what is a surprise is that many of these Volts aren’t intended for immediate sale—they’re being used as demonstration vehicles designed to introduce new buyers to both the Volt’s new technologies and the rest of the Bowtie Brand’s lineup.
These initial Volt dealers have already taken delivery of more than 550 dedicated Volt demo vehicles, with Chevrolet expecting more than 2,500 U.S. dealers to have at least one such model by the end of 2011.
The Volt is currently available in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and is slated to reach Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii in the third quarter of the year. By the end of 2011, Chevrolet expects to have Volts on the road in all 50 states.
An interesting survey was released today by SPX Service Solutions, the company that assists the Volt team with managing all aspects of home charging installation for Volt owners, including the home survey, installation, permitting, Department of Energy and utility coordination, and identification of available programs and incentives for reduced charging rates.
SPX surveyed about 2,000 potential electric vehicle owners in California, Michigan, Texas, and the New York and Washington, D.C. metro areas. The results showed that most homes are set up well for home charging, but lack a 240-volt outlet (The Volt comes standard with a 120-volt charge cord set, which can charge the vehicle in about 10 hours on a standard household outlet. For those people that want a faster charge, SPX will help with the installation of a 240-volt charging station at your home, which will charge the Volt in about four hours.).
Renewable solar power is catching on as a viable option to charge electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. One Chevrolet Volt owner, Mark Hildebrand, even developed his own solar panel array to charge his vehicle.
“I made the switch to renewable energy a while ago, and thus with solar energy, I can power my house, charge my Volt and pump energy back into the grid, which I get credit for,” said Hildebrandt, owner of Sunventrix in Saline, Mich., and one of the first Volt purchasers in the state.
Hildebrandt isn’t the only consumer eager to harness the sun for battery power. Winemaster and ZD Wines CEO, Robert deLeuze, charges his Volt using his winery’s photovoltaic system.