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USA: Chevrolet Volts Roll in to Carolinas to Expand EV Industry

■Duke Energy, Progress Energy join GM and the Electric Power Research Institute to prepare for electric vehicles
■Volts to be delivered to dealers in North and South Carolina in August

RALEIGH, N.C. – Customer confidence in driving the Chevrolet Volt as an everyday vehicle depends on electric utilities providing the uninterrupted power at home and work to support the vehicles. That’s why the first 27 Volts in North Carolina are going to major utilities under a partnership between the Electric Power Research Institute and General Motors.

The GM/EPRI/Utility collaboration with more than 30 major utilities nationwide was announced at the Plug-In 2008 Conference. The utility partnership is working to ensure safe and convenient vehicle charging, raise public awareness and understanding of plug-in electric vehicles, and help public policy leaders plan the transition from petroleum to electricity as a fuel source. The program is made possible in part by a $30.5 million grant administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Recovery Act Transportation Electrification Initiative.

“In-home and workplace charging experience is critical to market acceptance of electric vehicles,” said Britta Gross, GM director of Global Energy Systems and Infrastructure Commercialization. “Together with EPRI and leading utility companies such as Duke Energy and Progress Energy, we will transform transportation and make electric vehicles relevant and available to the mass market.”

The deliveries to utilities coincide with the opening of the Plug-In 2011 conference, which opens Tuesday in Raleigh. Volt deliveries to the 128 Chevrolet dealers in the Carolinas will begin in August.

“The Chevrolet Volts join our rapidly expanding fleet of plug-in electric vehicles and will provide a significant boost to our research efforts,” said Bill Johnson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Progress Energy.

“We are committed to developing the necessary infrastructure to support the widespread use of electric vehicles because we believe they will save our customers money, reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and help protect the environment,” said Johnson, who is also the co-chairman of the Edison Electric Institute CEO Taskforce on Electric Transportation.

Using electricity to power vehicles such as the Volt can reduce the auto industry’s dependence on petroleum and help reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. Consumers benefit from lower energy costs. As a transportation fuel, electricity costs about one-half of gasoline per mile. The national average to charge a Volt is about $1.50 a day, Gross said

About two-thirds of the more than 4 million miles driven by Volt owners to date have been powered by domestically produced electricity, and the typical Volt customers is getting almost 1,000 miles per single tank of gasoline.

The Volt’s extended-range capability 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 seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full tank.

Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 120 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers “gas-friendly to gas-free” solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com

General Motors (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 202,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 30 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Italy. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

Source gm.com

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