The innovative Chevrolet Volt went on sale last year and quickly earned praise from customers and industry observers alike. The only challenge? It was just available in seven markets. But Chevy is up to that challenge this year: Already available for ordering in all 50 states, the Volt kicked off its national launch campaign for the rest of the country in July, when North Carolina utility companies took delivery of 27 Volts—with the Carolinas’ 128 Chevrolet dealers slated to begin receiving Volts for retail customers in August.
The initial delivery of Volts was courtesy of a collaboration between GM, the Electric Power Research Institute and the utility companies, and was made possible by a $30.5 million grant administered by the U.S. Department of Energy‘s Recovery Act Transportation Electrification Initiative.
“In-home and workplace charging experience is critical to market acceptance of electric vehicles,” said Britta Gross, GM director of Global Energy Systems and Infrastructure Commercialization. “Together with EPRI and leading utility companies such as Duke Energy and Progress Energy, we will transform transportation and make electric vehicles relevant and available to the mass market.”
In addition to being one of the nation’s premier resources for online vehicle research, Edmunds.com also provides a key opportunity for owners themselves to review their vehicles, creating a unique—and important—measure of quality from consumers who know those vehicles best. And this year, it was the Chevrolet Volt that came out on top of its class in the website’s 2011 Consumers’ Top Rated vehicles list, besting all other vehicles in the “Hybrid” segment. (Note: As Edmunds.com admits, the Volt “isn’t really a hybrid like the Toyota Prius,” but the site didn’t have another category in which to put the unique Chevy!)