Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN) is teaming up with Chevrolet to help showcase the automaker’s electric vehicles.

The “Volt Unplugged” tour demonstrating the new cars stops in downtown Raleigh on Monday, Nov. 1. Public test drives will be available from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at 400 Block Fayetteville Street.

Progress will receive 12 Volts in the first quarter of next year and utilize them in a number of different ways, the utility company said.

Chevrolet will provide more than 100 Volts to a consortium of utilities to help demonstrate the Volts through a $30 million federal grant, Progress noted.

“We are committed to developing the necessary infrastructure to enable widespread use of electric vehicles to help our customers save money and reduce their impact on the environment,” said Bill Johnson, chairman, chief executive officer at Progress. He also is co-chairman of the Edison Electric Institute CEO Taskforce on Electric Transportation. “This partnership with Chevrolet will allow us to better serve our customers as the Volt and other plug-in vehicles become available in 2011 and beyond.”

Progress is also developing a charging station pilot plan, is pursuing smart grid development and already has in use nine plug-in electric vehicles.

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