General Motors is set to build up to 36,000 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids and other hybrids for delivery this year, which is up 20 percent from 2012. To accomplish this, GM must build 1,500 to 3,000 of the fuel-efficient vehicles each month. Last year, GM sold 30,000 Volt and European Opel Ampera vehicles globally. In an interview with the Washington Post, Jim Hall, principal of consulting group 2953 Analytics, the 36,000 target is “probably a doable number.”
Helping GM to reach this target number, the Chevrolet Volt is now eligible for California’s carpool sticker that only all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids can use. Also, the Volt will have its first full calendar year in Europe after winning the European Car of the Year award badged as an Opel. The Chevrolet Volt can reach up to 38 miles on only electric power before having to switch to gasoline, enabling the battery to recharge using an onboard generator. Plug-ins can also be charged using an electrical outlet.
Along with the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera, a new two-door plug-in hybrid, the 2014 Cadillac ELR, will be starting production soon. The new Cadillac will carry over much of the Volt’s powertrain technologies in a sleek, stylish package. The four-seat Volt starts at $39,995, including $845 for destination and handling, and even with a $7,500 federal tax credit and a state credit that can be as much as $6,000 (in Colorado), the Volt is still more expensive than similarly sized gasoline-only compacts.
Although the original sales goal for 2012 with the Chevrolet Volt wasn’t met thanks to temporary production shutdowns, Volt sales tripled in the U.S. to 23,461. GM’s marketing director for small cars, Cristi Landy, said in an interview that, “California, which is our strongest market, was selling great then they would have no products. They’ve run out of product probably three or four times in the last 12 months, it’s been very frustrating.”
Source: Washington Post