Just a couple of weeks after GM had originally planned, customers are starting to receive the new Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid that uses battery power for 35 miles, before a gasoline generator kicks in to extend the car’s range. The first to get the car is a retired airline pilot, who picked up his Volt today in New Jersey. He traded in his old Toyota Prius, which could perhaps be read as a ceremonial changing of the guard as GM bests Toyota to the plug-in hybrid market. But it also makes one wonder how much the new car will hurt sales of existing hybrids, rather than the market for gas guzzling cars. GM shipped the first 360 Volts to California, Texas, Washington DC, and New York this week.
Last Friday, the first Nissan Leaf, an all-electric car with an estimated range per charge of 73 miles, was delivered to an entrepreneur in California. His last vehicle was an electric bike.