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GM announces test drive program for Chevy Volt

Car buyers, increasingly interested “green cars” like Chevy Volt, will soon be able to test drive the electric-hybrid in Chevrolet dealerships in the initial launch markets of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.,

According to General Motors, the markets will receive 550 dedicated Volt demonstration vehicles in nine 10 markets.

“We know the best way to experience the Volt is to get behind the wheel and drive it. Now dealers will have the ability to allow consumers to form their own opinions of the Volt through test drives and demonstrations,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet marketing director.

According to GM research, 85 percent of consumers searching for information about the Volt on Chevrolet.com looked at other Chevrolet vehicles. “We are seeing that the Volt is increasing traffic onto our dealer showroom floors and is exposing consumers to Chevys line of ‘gas-friendly’ vehicles, including the Cruze Malibu and Equinox,” Landy said.

In the first quarter of 2011, approximately 550 demonstration Volts will be delivered to Chevy dealers. By the end of the year, more than 2,500 U.S. dealers will receive a dedicated Volt for consumer demonstrations and test drives.

Chevy expects to deliver Volts in all 50 states by the end of 2011. Customers nationwide will be able to order Volts with participating dealers beginning in the second quarter. Deliveries will begin in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii in the third quarter.

The Volt offers a total driving range of up to 379 miles, based on EPA estimates. For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas-and tailpipe-emissions-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank.

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