General Motors announced Wednesday that its much-anticipated Volt electric car will be available in California first, with the roll-out happening sometime late next year.
The announcement was made to media at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. "It is natural that California is the lead market for Volt," stated Brent Dewar, a GM vice president. "Not only is it the largest automotive market, Californians are known to be leaders in adopting groundbreaking new technologies."
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GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz used the occasion to take a swipe at some of the Hollywood liberals and other pro-electric denizens who criticize the company for discontinuing and destroying its EV1 electric cars. The demise of that vehicle was the source of many pro-oil conspiracy theories, some of them aired in the 2006 documentary Who Killed The Electric Car.
The development of the Volt, Lutz said in L.A. Wednesday, "still surprises some people, who continue to think of GM as the company that 'killed the electric car.' Well, movie titles to the contrary, the electric car is far from dead at GM. And my friend, the filmmaker Chris Paine, would be the first to tell you that."
The Detroit titan also touted the company's roll-out of 500 charging stations in California to coincide with the release of the Volt.
Lutz also announced that GM is partnering with Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and the Electric Power Research Institute to provide 100 Volts as fleet cars and to "advance the electrification of the automobile" via feedback and research that will be bolstered by a $30 million matching grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.