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May 202011

Volt, gearing up for increased production.

From Green Right Now Reports

Even though only about 2,000 of GM’s electric Volt have been sold so far, the company sees a charged market ahead for the newly introduced vehicle, if it can ramp up production to meet consumer desire for the Volt.

To that end, the company will be closing the Volt factory next month to retool.

General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant will close for four weeks starting in June for upgrades that will help speed the rate of Volt production, GM reports. The decision to shut down production, so it can be speeded up later, comes in response to “tremendous consumer demand” for the Volt, said spokeswoman Christi Landy.

The re-tooling also will assist the assembly of the 2013 Chevy Malibu.

The 2011 Volt, launched this year in selected states such as California, New York, Texas and several others, will be available nationally by the end of 2011.

With the help of the plant upgrades, 16,000 Volt and Opel Ampera cars will have rolled off the line by the end of 2011. (The Ampera is the Volt’s sister vehicle destined for sale in Europe and China.)

GM projects a burst in production in 2012, predicting enough global capacity to produce 60,000 vehicles of which an estimated 45,000 would be sold in the United States.

Unlike most new electric cars, which operate solely on battery power, the Volt is a plug-in electric/gas engine hybrid, or as GM likes to say, “an extended range” electric car.

GM describes its performance this way:

“The Volt is an electric vehicle that offers a total driving range of 379 miles, based on EPA estimates.  For the first 35 miles, the Volt can drive gas- and tailpipe-free using a full charge of electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery.  When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 344 miles on a full change.”