WASHINGTON - Greater Washington D.C. joins California and Michigan as the initial launch markets for the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range, announced Chevrolet.

General Motors has invested more than $700 million in the U.S. to reinforce its "leadership in this new technology," said Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman, Global Product Operations.

Chevrolet also announced a development and demonstration program with D.C.-area utilities Pepco and Dominion to introduce customers to electric vehicles and establish vehicle charging programs.

"Concentrating Volt sales in these three key initial markets allows us to give our first customers a high-quality experience," said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet general manager. "In addition to geographical considerations, each market also has progressive local and state government leaders and utility partners who are crucial in bringing electric vehicles to market."

Chevrolet will deliver more than 100 Volts to several utilities across the U.S. - including Pepco and Dominion, which serve Washington D.C. and its suburbs - as part of an extended demonstration program. The overall program includes 500 charging stations that will be installed for residential, business, and public use. They will be used to learn more about the installation process, vehicle charging, and to gauge customer feedback.