Chevy has announced their intent to begin deliveries of the extended range EV Volt to all 50 states by the end of 2011. This apparently comes at the request of dealers in non-Volt markets, who are claiming to see an increase in demand from their own customers. Said Harry E Criswell III, owner of Criswell Chevrolet in Gaithersburg, MD, “We are seeing 10 to 15 customers a week who are seriously considering buying a Volt. Many of them own competitive brands and now have a Chevy on their shopping list because of the Volt.”
The plan is to expand the current sales market (Washington D.C., California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas) to include Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii by the third quarter. The remaining 33 states will get Volt inventory in the fourth quarter of this year. An early expansion into new markets could also be a sign that the Volt isn’t meeting sales expectations in the initial target markets. I’m not saying that’s the case, since the only sales data available on the Volt are December numbers, which include initial deliveries only. We’ll need to see how the car sells in Q1 to know if it’s meeting Chevy’s expectations.
Volt production could be an issue if sales do take off. Initially, Chevy said they could build 10,000 Volts in 2011, which may not be enough to meet a 50 state demand. They’re trying to ramp up production to 25,000 units for 2011, but they’re at the mercy of suppliers such as battery cell maker LG Chem. A wait list for the Volt would certainly be good press for Chevy, even if it is an inconvenience for buyers.