Imagine, for a moment, a vehicle that won't use any gas at all if driven less than 40 miles contingent on terrain, temperature, and technique.

A fuel-efficient compact car, the Chevrolet Volt, is the first fully-electric vehicle on the market, of which Rentschler Chevrolet Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Slatington has two in stock.

Charles Walsh, general manager, Rentschler, said the first wave of Volt dealers were in NY, TX, MI, CA, and Washington, D.C.

"They tested the product in those areas, and found they would be the highest usage of the vehicle," Walsh said. "Now they're allowing the rest of us to have the vehicle, as Pennsylvania was part of the second wave."

In order to carry the vehicle, Walsh said a dealership must be certified in sales and service. There must be at least one technician and one sales person certified to work on the vehicle, he said.

"The hazards are greater with an electrical car," he said. "Once we were certified, we got the red one in August, and the white one in October."

Walsh said the red Volt is a classified demo, as Chevy requires to keep the demo so the customer can come in, drive the vehicle, and allow the dealership to take the vehicle out for show.

"We had a car show here for Chevy's 100-year anniversary, and it's been taken to a couple of car shows and the American Heritage Museum," he said. "We're looking to expand our horizons, and get one on the road."

Walsh said the Volt is an electric, fully-charged vehicle. The generator generates power for the battery, which automatically kicks in after about 35 miles, he said.

"You can continually run the vehicle on the generator," he said. "When it runs out of power to charge, plug it in to a 220 or 110."

John Knapp, sales and leasing, as well as a certified Volt sales person, said the vehicle stands out for a variety of reasons.

"You can see the uniqueness there, because the Volt has a 9.3 gallon fuel tank, which will provide you with extended range capabilities." "The people who are buying it are folks who not only are technology-oriented, but also conscious of how their lives effect the environment."

Knapp said that while the starting price for the Volt is $39,995, customers could be eligible for up to $3,500 in tax deductions from the state, and/or $7,500 from federal.

Since last year, Knapp noted the Volt has been reduced in price by about $1,000.

"I think that for a luxury vehicle such as the Volt, it's competitively priced," he said. "It could be in the $29,000 range, if eligible."

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