The Volt, which GM describes as an extended-range electric vehicle, is the only model that fits that description. GM began building its first production Volts at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant on Wednesday.
President Barack Obama has set a target of putting one million plug-in hybrids on U.S roads by 2015. In announcing a new plan for offshore drilling Wednesday, Obama also said the government would double its purchases of hybrid vehicles to 5,000.
"We’re going to lead by example and practice what we preach: cutting waste, saving energy, and reducing our reliance on foreign oil," Obama said.
But one year ago, Obama’s auto task force questioned whether GM was spending too much to develop the Volt, saying "it will likely be too expensive to be commercially successful in the short-term."
GM has said it will build a few thousand electric cars Volts in its first year, with output eventually ramping up to 60,000 annually. The Volt’s battery pack offers an all-electric driving range of 40 miles, with a gas engine that extends the range to that of a typical vehicle.
Source: Detroit Free Press, www.freep.com