Oshawa, Ontario – Chevrolet has announced the initial launch markets for the electric extended-range Chevrolet Volt, which will go on sale in the second half of 2011. The Volt will initially be available in Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Oshawa, Ottawa-Gatineau, Vancouver and Victoria.

The automaker also announced a new partnership with Hydro-Québec by which the utility company will integrate 20 Volts into its fleet starting in 2011. Hydro-Québec intends to assess the car’s environmental benefits, specifically in terms of greenhouse gas reductions. They will be mostly used by customer service representatives and by regional community relations staff.

The Volt can be charged via a standard 120-volt plug or, for faster turnaround, with a charging station. Chevrolet said that the Volt has a total driving range of about 580 kilometres, with the first 40 to 80 kilometres on battery power alone. When the battery runs low, a 1.4-litre gasoline engine starts up and operates like a generator to provide electricity to extend the range.

It is expected that the Volt will be more broadly available for sale at dealerships nationwide before the end of the 2012 model year, although Volt-authorized service points will be available across Canada during the initial launch.