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  (Source: Wikipedia)
Gas prices at $4 a gallon have pushed drivers over the edge

With gas hovering $4 a gallon, it's easy to understand why many drivers are becoming increasingly frustrated with their gas guzzling vehicles that drain their wallets on a normal basis. To make matters worse, fuel prices are expected to remain around the $3 to $4 mark for some time, and these high prices are pushing some consumers toward electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt.

According to a study from the University of Delaware, which surveyed over 3,000 people, consumers would be willing to pay for several different electric vehicle attributes. For instance, the UD study found that consumers put a price of $75 per mile up to 200 miles of additional range, and $35 per mile from 200 to 300 miles. 

"This information tells the car manufacturers what people are willing to pay for another unit of distance," said George Parsons, a professor at UD. "It gives them guidance as to what cost levels they need to attain to make the cars competitive in the market."

In addition, the study found that consumers believe the cost of batteries needs to decrease significantly without subsidy. But researchers noted that the current $7,500 government tax credit could "bridge the gap between electric car costs and consumers' willingness to pay if battery costs decline to $300 a kilowatt hour." 

"It appears that even modest electric vehicles with today's limited battery range, if marketed correctly to segments with appropriate driving behavior, comprise a large enough market for substantial vehicle sales," the study concluded.

With this in mind, automakers like General Motors are looking to increase production to meet consumer demand of electric vehicles. As a matter of fact, GM has announced that it will increase production of its electric Chevrolet Volt. 

GM announced the news yesterday, saying it would build 1,000 more electric Volts than previously planned for 2011, and will build an additional 15,000 Volts on top of its target for 2012. This would put the electric Chevrolet Volt's total production number at 16,000 in 2011, and 60,000 in 2012.

In June, GM will shut down its Detroit-Hamtramck plant for four weeks to prepare for added production. Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet Volt Marketing, mentioned that this temporary shutdown will withhold Volt supplies at dealers through the summer, but will allow GM to ready itself for the added Volt production. 

Of the 16,000 Volts made in 2011, about 2,500 will be sent to dealer demonstration fleets, 3,500 will be exported to Canada, China and Europe, and the other 10,000 will be sold in the United States. As far as 2012's 60,000 Volts go, 45,000 will be sold in the U.S. 

A big question regarding the added production is whether it will create more jobs at the plant. Currently, the plant employs 958 hourly and 159 salaried workers, and runs on one shift. These employees will be laid off during the plant shutdown. 

"We're not talking about jobs yet," said Michelle Bunker, a Chevrolet spokeswoman.

GM did announce last week, however, that it would spend $2 billion at 17 U.S. locations for upgrades, and that this would create or keep 4,000 jobs in eight states.

GM hopes to eventually build more than 100,000 Volts a year. So far this year, it has sold 1,700 Volts, which are priced at $41,000 minus $7,500 in tax incentives.



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100K a Year
By btc909 on 5/19/2011 9:26:26 PM , Rating: 0
Ok it's almost June & GM has sold 1700, hummmm that's a wee but off the 100K figure. Chances are even if you wanted one you will be put on a multi month waiting list. Visit your local GM dealer today & be put on a waiting list. Go VOLT!




RE: 100K a Year
By Bobalouie on 5/19/2011 10:08:38 PM , Rating: 3
GM announced a limited production run of 10k cars for the first year, not 100k. Based on VIN numbers, they have produced just over 4000 so far. Also, not all the cars they produce will be sold. Many are being shipped to dealers for demo cars. Why? It's bringing in new customers. 90% of new Chevy buyers are, like me, new to the brand. The Volt is bringing in converts.

But you are correct, there is a waiting list. Even in Europe and Australia. I flew cross country to buy mine as they are not available in my state until end of the year. This car has won more engineering awards than any other in the last 30 years. As Americans we should be proud of it and what it represents for future transportation.

You don't have to buy one or even want to buy one. But people trying to tear it down for being innovative, beating Toyota at its own game, and for GM going slow in the initial run to get the quality right seem like petty arguments to me. But you're welcome to a contrarian opinion.


RE: 100K a Year
By shin0bi272 on 5/22/2011 5:36:37 AM , Rating: 2
In flying across the country to buy your precious bs hybrid you produced more co2 than you will save over the life of your car. good job retard.

plus since its lets say half way through the year... even further through the model year... and they havent sold 1/4 of the admitted limited run of 10k... I doubt they will reach their goal of even 10k this year. Then to produce more next year for who? no one seems to want these cars except the tree huggers or the hipsters or the idiot college kids majoring in communications (or some liberal arts major). They are useless and a waste of money.


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