Austin a launch city for Volt plug-in hybrid? CEO may say
General Motors Co. will add Austin and New York to the list of launch cities for its Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric hybrid car, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
GM’s chairman and chief executive, Edward Whitacre Jr., is expected to announce those plans today at a luncheon address to the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce at the Hilton Austin hotel. The chamber said 750 people are expected at the event.
A GM spokesperson declined to comment on the Journal report, but the automaker had previously said Whitacre’s speech would deal in part with the roles Austin and Texas will play in GM’s recovery.
Whitacre is also planning to drive to the Hilton in a Volt.
Once the world’s biggest automaker, GM emerged from bankruptcy last year, repaid gov- ernment loans ahead of schedule and is preparing for an initial public offering of stock.
The Volt is set to go on sale this fall in limited numbers. GM has said the vehicle’s launch markets will include California, Michigan and Washington, D.C.
The Volt runs primarily on an electric motor powered by rechargeable batteries. The vehicle also has a small gasoline engine that can be run to generate electricity to drive the car.
Several other automakers, including Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., are rolling out electric cars later this year.
Last month, a California company, Coulomb Technologies, tagged Austin as one of nine cities it will provide with hundreds of free recharging stations as part of a project backed by federal stimulus money. Austin Energy also plans to begin installing recharging stations around Austin late this year.
GM CEO Edward Whitacre Jr. is planning to be behind the wheel of a Chevy Volt when he arrives at a luncheon in downtown Austin today.
Edward Whitacre Jr.