Sep 132011

First Electric Car Arrives in R.I. Showroom

PROVIDENCE — The first mass-produced electric car arrived at a Rhode Island dealership last week. A Chevy Volt, which is technically classified as a plug-in hybrid, will be available for test drives through the end of the year at Balise Chevrolet in Warwick.

In November, Balise will start selling the cars.

Nationally, demand for EVs appears mixed. Both Chevy and Nissan’s all-electric Leaf have been conducting slow rollouts of their sedans, reportedly to work out glitches and build buzz for their high-tech, battery-powered cars. But independent surveys show interest from potential customers is dropping while their arrival in Rhode Island is months overdue.

Perhaps in response to slow demand, Chevy has reduced the Volt’s price somewhat, to about $33,000 after the $7,500 federal tax credit. The Leaf boosted its cost slightly for its 2012 models to about $28,500 after the credit. Both are selling in select markets across the country. Since December, nearly 6,200 Leafs and 3,500 Volts have been sold.

The Leaf is already for sale at some dealers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Rhode Island dealers will have to wait until early 2012.

The demo Volt was parked outside a meeting of the Rhode Island chapter of Project Get Ready on Sept. 8 at Save The Bay’s headquarters. The nonprofit advocacy group, run locally by Al Dahlberg, is helping EVs get a foothold in the state by encouraging public and private investment in EV education and infrastructure, such as charging stations, electrical capacity upgrades and signage.

Read the full Story At ECO RI News