One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard to date on the Volt is that so few people, aside from journalists and celebrities, have actually had the opportunity to get behind the wheel. Chevy ran a 12 city tour that brought the car to Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Antonio, Houston, Miami, Orlando, Raleigh, Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago, but the tour couldn’t accommodate everyone who was interested. In many areas, the tour wasn’t promoted well, so even potential buyers were unaware that they could get behind the wheel of a Volt on a short test drive. Now that deliveries have begun, it’s hard to sell customers on the prospect of an entirely new automobile if you can’t give them a decent test drive.
Good news, Volt fans: Chevrolet has announced that dealerships in the initial launch states (California, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.) will be getting dedicated Volt demonstration vehicles over the next few weeks. By the end of Q1, Chevy expects to have some 550 Volt testers in the hands of dealerships, and that number will increase to 2,500 by the end of the year. Chevy plans to have the Volt on sale in all 50 states by 2012, and has already taken steps to increase production to meet anticipated demand.
I won’t flog a dead horse by telling you (again) how significant the Volt is, but if you’re still among those proclaiming the Volt is “just another hybrid,” you’ll soon have the opportunity to form a more educated opinion. Drive one, then tell me what you think of it.