Chevrolet picks 15 future customers to test-drive Volt before it goes on sale

Chevrolet Volt Customer Advisory Board

General Motors announced today that it has hand-picked 15 technology enthusiasts and future owners to be the first consumers to experience the Chevrolet Volt everyday. The 15 individuals will get to drive the Volt in real-world conditions for three months where they will get to experience and take part in a charging evaluation program.

Click here for more news on the Chevrolet Volt.

“We are eager to learn as much as we can from potential customers about their experience with the Volt,” said Tony DiSalle, Chevrolet Volt marketing director. “We want to know their thoughts, impressions, and perceptions. This special group of electric vehicle experts gives us the opportunity to learn even more as we near market launch.”

Known as the Chevrolet Volt Customer Advisory Board, the move is one of the final steps to validate the extended-range electric-vehicle for the real world.

Hit the jump for the press release to see who the 15 individuals are.

Click here to read our first drive impressions of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

Refresher: The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is powered by 16-kWh, “T”-shaped lithium-ion battery that powers the electric drive unit, which allows it to drive 40 miles on battery power alone. According to GM”s preliminary specs, the system puts out 150-hp and a maximum torque of 273 lb-ft, allowing the Volt to go from 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds, hitting a top speed of 100 mph. The battery can be re-charged by plugging into a household outlet and takes less than 3 hours to recharge on 240 volts, and about 8 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet. The Chevrolet Volt also carries a 1.4 4-clyinder engine that allows the five-door, FWD sedan to travel additional miles while averaging a fuel-economy of 50 mpg. A fully charged battery and full tank of gas will allow the Volt to travel 300 miles. Prices for the 2011 Chevrolet Volt start at $41,000 but with a full federal income tax credit (which range from $0 to $7,500), the Volt can cost a total of $33,500.

2011 Chevrolet Volt:

2011 Chevrolet Volt Production Show Car

Press Release:

Chevrolet Starts Market Launch of Volt with Customer Advisory Board

DETROIT ““ Chevrolet has hand-picked 15 advanced technology enthusiasts and electric vehicle advocates to be the first consumers to experience the Volt every day under real-world conditions during a three-month vehicle and charging evaluation program starting in late October. This exclusive group of expert consumers ““ referred to as the Chevrolet Volt Customer Advisory Board ““ is one of the final steps Chevrolet is taking to validate the vehicle, charging and overall customer experience in preparation for the retail launch late this year.

Volt Customer Advisory Board members have volunteered to participate and were selected by Chevrolet based on their resident location, knowledge of advanced automotive technology, and interest and awareness of electric vehicles. Each participant is scheduled to receive a pre-production Volt starting in late October and will keep the car through the end of January 2011. Participants live in Volt retail launch markets including California, Washington D.C., and New York.

Members of the Chevrolet Volt Customer Advisory board include:

  • Robert Becker ““ Electric vehicle enthusiast
  • Peter Corsell ““ Chief Executive Officer of Grid Point
  • Lyle Dennis ““ Electric vehicle enthusiast
  • Tom Kuhn ““ President,Edison Electric Institute
  • Andy Lipkis ““ President and Founder, Tree People
  • Bill Nye ““ Celebrity scientist and electric vehicle enthusiast
  • Eric Rotbard ““ Electric vehicle enthusiast
  • Chelsea Sexton ““ Electric vehicle enthusiast
  • Colin Summers ““ Electric vehicle enthusiast
  • Mark Swain ““ Electric vehicle enthusiast
  • Kris Trexler ““ Electric vehicle enthusiast
  • Bryan Voltaggio ““Celebrity chef and owner of Volt restaurant
  • Jim Woolsey ““ Former Director of Central Intelligence and Renewable Energy and Energy Security Investor
  • Brian Wynne ““ President, Electric Drive Transportation Association
  • Mike Maria ““ Electric vehicle enthusiast

Volt Customer Advisory Board members will receive product training, a home electric evaluation and a no-cost installation of a 240-volt charging station to be used for the duration of the vehicle evaluation program. Chevrolet will then collect information continuously through OnStar.

The feedback provided by Volt consumer advisors will help Chevrolet refine the ownership, charging and driving experience, including information that can help local utility companies develop codes and standards for electric vehicle owners. Each member will also be assigned a Volt Customer Relations Manager for personal service and attention.

“It’s great to see Chevrolet tap into both experienced and new electric vehicle enthusiasts for real-world feedback,” said Chelsea Sexton, electric vehicle advocate and Volt Customer Advisory Board member from California.  “This is a great opportunity to not only provide meaningful input to the Volt team, but also to raise awareness using a real, available electric vehicle instead of a PowerPoint slide.”

The Volt Customer Advisory Board group serves as an extension of Chevrolet”s final Volt validation employee test fleet program already under way. To date more than 200 pre-production Volts have been built at GM”s Detroit-Hamtramck production assembly.

The Chevrolet Volt is an electric vehicle with extended-range capability. Chevrolet will offer a lease program on the Volt with a monthly payment as low as $350 for 36 months at Manufacturer”s Suggested Retail Price with $2,500 due at lease signing, including security deposit based on current conditions, which could vary at time of delivery. The benefit of the $7,500 tax credit is included in the reduced lease payment, with the tax credit going to the lessor. The Volt”s MSRP will start at $41,000 ($33,500 net of the full federal tax credit, which ranges from $0-$7,500) including a destination freight charge of $720. Customer deliveries of the Volt are scheduled to begin in launch markets late this year with initial production limited.

The 2011 Volt will be available to Chevrolet customers in California, New York, Michigan, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey and the Washington D.C. area. To be among the first to purchase a Volt, customers can visit their nearest participating Chevrolet Volt dealer. A Volt dealer locator is available at The dealer will begin the order process, which will be followed up by contact from a dedicated Volt advisor who will be available to answer any questions and keep the customer apprised of the progress of their order. For customers needing general Volt information, Chevrolet has a team of Volt advisors available to answer questions at 1-888-VOLT-4-YOU (1-888-865-8496).

– By: Omar Rana