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GM Boosts Output of the Chevrolet Volt Electric Vehicle
President Obama tests a Chevrolet Volt during a visit to the Detroit-Hamtramck factory where it is assembled.
The buzz about electric vehicles (EVs) recently grew louder, as General Motors Corporation (GM) announced on July 30 that it will increase U.S. production capacity of its new Chevrolet Volt by 50% next year. Citing strong interest, GM said it will boost the number of units from 30,000 to 45,000 in 2012. The announcement came as President Obama toured the Detroit-Hamtramck facility where the Volt is assembled. Earlier in the week, on July 27, GM confirmed that the 2011 Volt will have a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $41,000. The extended-range EV can qualify for a $7,500 tax credit. Chevrolet dealers have begun taking orders for sales as well as 36-month leases that could cost $350 per month and require a $2,500 down payment. The Volt has 340-mile range, using electricity stored in its 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery to power it for the first 40 miles, and one tank of gasoline for the remaining 300 miles. The Volt will be available later this year in California, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Texas, and the Washington D.C. area. See the GM press releases on Volt production and Volt pricing, and the Volt Web site.
Also on July 27, Nissan revealed the first U.S. states to get the Leaf EV in December. The vehicle, designed to travel 100 miles on an average battery charge and carrying a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $32,780, will be available in December to customers in Arizona, California, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. The Leaf will then roll out to additional states in January and April of next year before becoming available in all markets nationwide by the end of 2011. DOE closed a $1.4 billion loan to Nissan in January to allow the company to expand its factory in Smyrna, Tennessee, for the production of the Leaf and the battery packs it uses. Eventually, Nissan plans to produce 150,000 electric vehicles per year. See the Nissan Leaf press release and the Leaf Web site.