Chevrolet to Debut Volt in California, Partner with Utilities

As if a near-monopoly on In-N-Out burgers weren’t enough, it looks like California will claim yet another exclusive later this year: The Chevy Volt. GM’s high-profile, plug-in hybrid will launch  in California in the fourth quarter of 2010, along with other select markets GM will announce in the coming weeks.

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To help provide a charging infrastructure, GM has partnered with four California utility companies, which will help with the planning and construction of over 500 stations around the state. The utilities will also receive 100 Volt cars for use in their fleets, with GM using OnStar to collect real-time data for testing.

Although GM hasn’t yet priced the vehicle, which uses a lithium-ion battery pack to provide up to 80 miles on a single charge, Vice President Bob Lutz estimated the company would sell 8,000 to 10,000 through the 2011 model year.

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Charging stations will be built in public parking facilities, where owners will be able to swipe a credit card to purchase charging time and lock the cables into their cars to prevent potential electricity theft.

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