[ad#post_ad]We thought California, Michigan, and Washington DC were going to be the only initial Chevrolet Volt launch markets, but apparently GM had other plans in mind.

Today in a speech in Austin Texas, GM CEO Ed Whitacre announced that New York and Texas will join the other three states as initial Chevy Volt launch markets.

He also announced that New Jersey and Connecticut would be included in the first launch wave in early 2011, bringing the total first Volt states to seven. For New York and Texas, Volts will only be available in New York City and the city of Austin in 2010, with the remainder of those states getting allocations in 2011.

GM said it was the intense interest they were seeing that prompted the inclusion of these additional markets, not to mention that Volt is designed and engineered to handle those more challenging climates.

"We can add markets as diverse as Texas and New York because the Chevrolet Volt can handle both urban commuting and longer trips, in Austin summers and Manhattan winters,” Whitacre said. “The Volt can be your primary vehicle, giving you the freedom to drive gas-free without the stress of planning every trip around the battery’s charge level.”

"Chevrolet is extending the Volt launch to additional states because of strong customer interest and our confidence in all aspects of the vehicle and battery," added Tony DiSalle, Chevrolet Volt marketing director.

To celebrate this terrific announcement (I'm a New Yorker) GM will drive a Volt from Austin Texas straight to New York City, a 1776 mile trip that would be considerably more tricky in a pure electric car.

GM is calling this trip the Freedom Drive, representing both freedom from oil and freedom from range anxiety.

“This drive is a demonstration of the freedom the Volt will provide customers – freedom to drive where you want, when you want,” said DiSalle. “Whether you are driving 50 miles or 1,750 miles, the Volt is the only electric vehicle that can be a family’s primary car.”

The Volt will take the last leg of the journey from New Jersey to New York, stopping briefly along the New Jersey Turnpike to pick up none other than yours truly as I accompany Volt vehicle line director Tony Posawatz for the home stretch. I will also be able to asses and experience firsthand in a nearly complete car the true performance of the Volt in real-world world highway driving, hopefully putting recent rumors to rest..

We will arrive at Pier 92 in New York City for an exclusive July 4th celebration. The celebration will include the Volt and members of the Volt team. The highlight of the party will of course be the famous Macy's fireworks celebration over the Manhattan skyline. This waterfont pier location will be a perfect front row seat to experience the show.

In appreciation for our longstanding support, GM if offering GM-Volt readers free exclusive invitations to the party which will begin at 5:30 PM. There will be food drinks, friends and family are welcome.

The first 70 GM-Volt readers and their guests who registered here got exclusive free invitations to the event:


On its way from Austin to New York the Volt will also stop off in Little Rock, AR on July 1; Nashville, TN and Roanoke, VA on July 2; Washington, D.C. and Frederick, MD on July 3; Philadelphia, PA and finally, New York City on July 4.

If you can't make it to New York, enthusiasts in the Washington DC area can meet up at Criswell Chevrolet in Gaithersburg, MD on July 3rd. The time will be from 2PM to 4PM. There will be food and drinks and opportunity to test drive a Volt (confirmed).

Independence from oil is about to begin.

See you there!