General Motors Co. announced Friday that it planned to boost U.S. production of the Chevrolet Volt electric car by 50%. As a result of President Obama toured the company’s plant in Hamtramck, Mich., GM said it planned to increase Volt production from 30,000 units to 45,000 in 2012.
The long awaited vehicle will be released in seven states up from three in December and will cost $41,000 before tax credits, the company said this week.
The Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in car capable of driving about 40 miles at a time on battery power without using any gasoline, will have a sticker price of $41,000 before a $7,500 federal tax credit, General Motors said Tuesday.
The Volt is propelled by a 120-kilowatt electric motor that pulls power from a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. That gives the sedan an all-electric range of about 40 miles, gas and emissions free. But the Volt also has a 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. When the car runs out of electricity, the gas engine kicks in and works as a generator, supplying electricity to the motor. The car can reach 60 miles an hour in just under nine seconds and has a top speed of 100 mph.
This design extends the range of the Volt by about 300 miles, according to GM, but it also means the car is burning gasoline. GM expects that many buyers will be able to make their daily commutes or errand runs within the 40 miles, or will be able to recharge while at work and that many will only rarely use the gasoline powered generator.
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