General Motors is planning to build at least 60,000 Volts in 2012, as it steps up its campaign to become a major player in the electric-car market.

Speaking to Detroit Free Press, GM’s chairman and chief executive, Dan Akerson, said he expects around 60,000 Volts to be built next year, noting that manufacturing cost would come down as full-scale production ramps up.

Although the Chevrolet Volt is technically not entirely an electric car (since it carries a small petrol engine that acts like a generator and recharges the battery), GM is hoping to catch sales of Nissan’s full-electric LEAF which has found more than 20,000 buyers already.

Whilst Nissan plans to build 250,000 electric-vehicles per year by 2016, GM is expecting that 10 percent of its sales will be powered by alternative fuel technologies come 2020.

Mr Akerson, who has previously labelled the Toyota Prius a “geek-mobile” and complained about GM’s bureaucracy, has been at the helm of GM for 15 months in which time the company has regained market share worldwide and initiated work on a wide variety of new projects.

The Holden Volt, as it will be known here when it goes on sale late next year, is expected to have a price tag of around $50-60,000, in order to compete with the Nissan LEAF. You can read more about Holden’s plans re the Volt here.

  • Shak

    Lets hope that Holden dont price themselves out of the market with the Volt. Even though its mainly going to be a Halo product for them, they do need to sell at least a couple hundred in their first year for it to make any sense down the track.

  • Rocket

    Funny how this car sells in the USA for under $35,000 yet our dollar is worth the same as theirs and we have a free trade agreement. Someone is lining their pockets.

    • BIGJV

      theres like a 10k government subsidy in the us to enocurage uptake of electric vehicles, so it works out like the same

      • Frenchie

        No it doesn’t! 35k+10k  does not = 50K-60K. GM is only really interested in its North American market with this car. This is what happens when we have no control over our car market. Only when an update prius or leaf comes on to the market will things change.

        • Owenforever37

          Perhaps you should start complaining to canberra as they are the only ones who can change it. ADR compliance requires a whole heap of silly and out of date changes to be made to production runs just to sell a small number of cars. This cost gets passed on to the customer and then we have to add GST, registration, stamp duty and the cost of getting the car through our corrupt and inefficient ports and transport networks. If cars didn’t have to have silly modifications to suit our unique and daft baby seat anchor point just as one example then the cost per car might drop around $100 and that is only a single example of the number of silly ADR modifications required to sell in Australia. For the number of vehicles sold here it an inconvenience to have to modify cars to suit our rules and regulations and as thus we get charged for it. We also pay more tax at every points from ship to customer than just about any other country on earth. It will. E interesting to see how a carbon tax will affect all this.

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  • ToyotaGuru

    Anyone considering buying one of these pieces OS, make sure you buy a few fire extinguishers, you’re gonna need them if you get involved in a stack. 😀

    • Force-15

      I’m pretty sure most people not killed in a serious crash could escape from their Volt within the three weeks before the batteries short out.

  • Geeksrule

    Remember these comments from a year ago? “The chief executive officer of General Motors used a public appearance Friday to slam the Toyota Prius hybrid, calling the car a “geek-mobile” that he would never want to drive.”

    Well now a year later the Prius continues to crush the sales numbers that the Volt is posting.  Instant karma buddy.  

    • Shak

      Comparing apples and oranges…The Prius has been on the market for over 10 years, and is sold worldwide. It also has a well established dealer network and has had time to bring down its costs. The Volt is in its infancy by comparison.

    • Sumpguard

        The VOLT looks like a more conventional car without the aweful high back that the Prius carries so his comments have some merit.

  • Coffeescroll

    60,000 volts is all well and good, but what I want to know is how many Amps?

    Merry Christmas everyone.