GM is committed to proliferating the Chevrolet Volt in China, and recently posted a Faces of GM video featuring Kevin Kelly, Manager of Battery and Hybrid Technology Communications, who was there for three months to help assist with a proper follow through to its launch.
“The Volt makes perfect sense for China,” Kelly said describing Chinese media response, and after having shared his knowledge and enthusiasm for the extended-range electric car.
While there, Kelly relied on other technology like his iPhone which has apps to overcome the language barrier. He said traveling was still do-able, and it sounds like he had quite an adventure.
Priced at $79,000 (RMB 498,00) in China, the Volt is not an inexpensive proposition, but it does sidestep the lack of public charging barrier that battery electric vehicles have yet to overcome.
Given that it has a gasoline engine for backup, and a 16-kilowatt-hour battery capable of overnight charging on house current, the Volt is viewed as less dependent on recharging infrastructure, and could be seen as a cutting-edge vehicle ripe for some to conspicuously purchase.
GM says it expects China to account for half of all luxury purchases by 2020 – including vehicles and all categories of consumer goods – so while the Volt is pricey, it won’t be like people there still can’t buy it if they want to.
China is one of the first global markets where the Volt will be sold through 13 dealerships in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Foshan.
We will continue to watch with interest how China Volt sales go in coming months.