More than 33,000 Sign Wait List for Chevrolet Volt
A major backer of the to-be-released Chevrolet Volt has released an unofficial waiting list of buyers hoping to take the wheel of the all-electric car when it is released.
Lyle Dennis, a New York neurologist and Chevrolet Volt enthusiast began compiling the list of prospective Volt buyers in May 2007 on his Web site GM-Volt.com. Since then over 33,000 individuals have signed up as “handraisers” as GM calls them.
On Tuesday, Dennis said his list showed 33,411 people had signed up to show their intent to buy a Volt when the rechargeable car is released in 2010.
The Web site reads: “You can see that so far with what’s been filled in, we have enough people here to generate over $200 million in Volt sales for GM.”
The average price buyers were willing to pay for the car was $31,261 — substantially less than the $40,000 GM has said it will cost to build the first-generation of the car equipped with a massive lithium-ion battery pack.
GM’s approach to the Volt has broken their tradition of keeping its vehicle development programs under tight wraps. The automaker has been actively consulting enthusiasts like Dennis and boasting the concept version of the Volt in high-profile advertising.
Dennis, who organized a meeting between enthusiasts called the “Volt Nation” and GM executives at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, said he was motivated by a desire to show the Detroit-based automaker that the Volt would have a wide base of buyers from the start.
“If everyone who wanted a Volt could get one, that would be the dream,” said Dennis.
A GM spokesman said that the automaker expected an initial shortage for the Volt, similar to the shortages for other hot-selling recent models.
“I don’t know if there is any other vehicle or any other technology that has generated this kind of interest because of the state of the market and gas prices,” said GM spokesman Dave Darovitz. “We know the demand is going to be there.”
Darovitz declined to discuss pricing for the Volt.
GM hopes to design the Volt to run for 40 miles on a lithium-ion battery pack that can be recharged at a standard outlet. The Volt will also capture energy from braking, like a traditional hybrid, and feature an on-board engine that will be used to send power to the battery on longer trips.
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