Retail sale Volts have left the plant for the first time

Retail sale Volts have left the plant for the first time

Chevrolet has begun shipping retail customer Volts from its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. Customers in California, Texas, Washington DC and New York should receive the cars in the next few days and 160 will be shipped this week.

"[This] is a historic milestone for Chevrolet," said Tony DiSalle, Volt marketing director. "We have redefined automotive transportation with the Volt, and soon the first customers will be able to experience [petrol]-free commuting with the freedom to take an extended trip whenever or wherever they want."

The heart of the Volt is its Voltec electric propulsion system, which combines battery-only electric driving with an efficient, petrol-powered engine giving up to 379 total miles of driving before having to recharge the battery or fill up the small fuel tank. The Volt is so far the only mass produced US-built electric vehicle.

Earlier this year, Chevrolet shipped 15 pre-production Volts to technology enthusiasts and electric vehicle advocates who were the first consumers to experience the Volt every day under real-world conditions during a 90-day vehicle and charging evaluation programme.