Chevrolet Volt Hits U.S. Dealerships – Sort Of

Chevy Volts on car carriers

After years of anticipation (and more than a few points when we thought the vehicle wouldn’t make it into production), the extended-range electric Chevy Volt is finally coming to a car dealership near you–if you happen to live in California, Texas, Washington D.C. or New York. Chevy is shipping 160 Volts this week, with more to come soon after.

The Volt is the first extended range EV, which means it uses both a gasoline engine that serves as a generator and can power the car if necessary, as well as an electric drive system. Overall, the system can purportedly provide a range of up to 379 miles before drivers have to recharge or fill up the tank.

At $41,000 ($33,500 after a $7,500 federal tax credit), the Volt is more expensive than its nearest competitor, the Nissan Leaf. The all-electric Leaf goes on sale this month for $32,780 (the first Leaf was delivered to a California customer today). Nissan’s EV doesn’t have quite the same range as the Volt, however–it squeezes out the equivalent of 73 MPG before drivers need to recharge its battery. And GM recently announced that the Volt will come with an eight-year, 100,000 mile warranty for its 161 battery components. That’s a longer warranty than any other EV manufacturer is offering.

No word yet on when Chevy will deliver the Volt to the rest of the U.S., but it’s safe to say that the vehicle will start to show up in other locations in the next few months.

Read more: Better Place and Renault Delivering 115,000 Electric Cars in 2011

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.AS