General Motors to build 60,000 Volts in 2012

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.
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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.