Interest in the Chevrolet Volt range-extender electric car – the American cousin of Vauxhall's Ampera – is so strong that production volumes could be doubled over the next two years, according to reports from the US.
Dan Akerson, the CEO of General Motors – parent company of both Chevrolet and Vauxhall – has already hinted that output this year might rise from the planned 10,000 to 25,000. Sources now suggest that GM is working with suppliers to enable it to double production in 2012 from a planned 60,000 cars to 120,000.
This will depend on whether sufficient supplies of the car's electric drive components can be sourced, and also on the level of demand. The 120,000 total would also include the Ampera and a planned Cadillac version.
The Volt and Ampera are due to go on sale in the UK simultaneously at the start of 2012. Vauxhall has announced a price of £28,995 for its car after a £5000 Government grant, and Chevrolet is expected to announce pricing at the Geneva motor show in March.
In America, the Volt costs $41,000 before Government subsidies, which equates to around £27,000.
News on UK production
The Ampera, which will be sold with both Vauxhall and Opel badges in Europe, will eventually be built on this side of the Atlantic, and Vauxhall's Ellesemere Port factory has high hopes of being chosen as the location. An announcement on this could also be made at the Geneva motor show.
Both the Ampera and the Volt are plug-in electric cars with a range of around 40 miles, but they also have a 1.4-litre petrol engine on board to power a generator, giving them the capability to cover much longer journeys – something pure electric cars cannot do.
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