First Chevrolet Volt EVs in France bought by U.S. Embassy


Paris.  The U.S. Mission to France has announced the purchase of four Chevrolet Volts, three for use by the U.S. Embassy in Paris and one for use by the Consulate in Lyon in the framework of the “Greenwheels” Project, a public-private partnership between Embassy Paris, the Consulate in Lyon and GM/ChevroletChevrolet Volt

On November 30, Ludovic Dirand, CEO of Chevrolet France handed-over the keys to Ambassador Charles Rivkin for two of the Chevrolet Volts that are now part of the U.S. Embassy in France’s fleet. The other two Volts will arrive in early 2012.

The U.S. Ambassador to France, Charles Rivkin, said, “This purchase is in keeping with President Obama’s call to set an example by ‘greening’ the federal government. At U.S. Mission France we are constantly seeking innovations to make our activities more environmentally sustainable.”

As part of its sustainability effort, the U.S. Mission has embarked on a program that will greatly reduce energy use in the more than 50,000 square meters of property the U.S. government owns and operates in Paris and throughout France.

This partnership also underscores a unique page in Franco-American history: Swiss-born Louis Chevrolet moved to France as a small boy and in 1911 he moved to the U.S. where he co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Company. 100 years and 209 million vehicle sales later, Chevrolet is the 4th biggest automobile brand in the world.

The Volt allows for the U.S. embassy staff to travel up to 80 km (MVEG) emission-free on electricity stored in the Volt’s 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery.

“The Volt extended-range electric vehicle is the start of a new era of personal mobility. It allows customers to transition to zero-emission driving without range anxiety,” adds Ludovic Dirand, Managing Director of Chevrolet France.

The Chevrolet Volt, the first electric car with extended-range capability (E-REV), has an extended range of more than 500 kilometers. When the battery’s energy is depleted, a gasoline-fuelled engine generates electricity to power the electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery.

The battery can be fully charged within four hours by plugging the vehicle’s on-board charge system into a standard 230V household outlet. If the driver does not have access to a power outlet after 500 kilometers, he can just refuel the car and keep driving.