California to be first to see much-hyped electric cars

It has been announced that California will be the first American state to get the Chevy Volt. General Motors (GM) has selected, and will be selecting other markets as well. GM vice chairman Bob Lutz said in his keynote address that other lead markets will be decided shortly.

GM is also partnering with three California utilities and EPRI to do a real world Volt demonstration project. They will use a $30 million Department of Energy grant for the study which will involve providing 100 Chevy Volts for a 2-year study fleet beginning in early 2011. The vehicles will use OnStar to provide performance usage and analytic data in real-time. 500 charging stations will also be installed in business, public, and residential locations.

The three utilities are Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison and Sacramento Municipal Utility District. The data will be used to improve future drivers’ ownership experiences with electric cars.

“It is natural that California is the lead market for Volt. Not only is it the largest automotive market, Californians are known to be leaders in adopting groundbreaking new technologies,” said Brent Dewar, GM vice president, Global Chevrolet Brand.