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Chevy Volt Crossover  (Source: AutoCar)

VW Milano Taxi
GM and VW are preparing new electric vehicles

Electric vehicles are a hot topic these days in the automotive world. Nissan recently announced pricing for its all-electric LEAF -- the vehicle will retail for $32,780 before a $7,500 federal tax credit. Additional credits and rebates can bring down the price by up to another $5,000 depending on the state.

General Motors is also turning heads with its Chevrolet Volt (which also happens to qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit). The vehicle can travel 40 miles on a full charge, but that range can be extended to over 300 miles thanks to its onboard 1.4-liter gasoline engine/generator.

According to patent drawings uncovered by AutoCar, the Volt will soon have a sibling that will share its platform. The vehicle appears to be a variant of the upcoming Chevrolet Orlando, albeit with a Volt-derived front and rear treatment.

Jon Lauckner, GM's vice president for global program management, foreshadowed this development back over a year ago. "I would point out that the Chevrolet Orlando is built on the same basic vehicle architecture and component set as the Chevrolet Volt," said Lauckner. "So if it makes sense, it's certainly something we can take a look at."

The vehicle is expected to be revealed at the Beijing auto show next week.

In other electric vehicle news, Volkswagen is showing off another concept -- the Milano Taxi. The tiny vehicle is just 147 inches long and weighs 3,300 pounds. According to AutoCar, the vehicle can travel up to 75 mph and has a driving range of 186 miles.

VW plans to market the vehicle in 2013.





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