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2011 Chevrolet Volt Production Number To Rise Slightly, Again

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2011 Chevrolet Volt test drive, Michigan, October 2010

2011 Chevrolet Volt test drive, Michigan, October 2010

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Once again, Chevrolet has upped planned production volumes of its 2011 Volt electric car in the face of strong demand and the likelihood that many dealers have more buyers than cars to sell them.

In July, at a media event discussing launch markets and other details, Volt marketing manager Tony DiSalle said the company would build 10,000 Volts by the end of 2011. He also said that 45,000 Volts--up from 30,000--would be built in 2012.

Now, the number by the end of 2011 has risen from a flat 10,000 to a range of "10,000 to 15,000." And for 2012, the company may build as many as 60,000 Volts.

Left unspecified was how many would be allocated to the U.S. market. Chevrolet plans to allot 5,000 Volts to Canada, and the Volt will be sold in Asia and certain European markets starting later next year.

For several years, a total of 60,000 Volts has been the maximum discussed by GM for the car's first three years. Volt vehicle line manager Doug Parks told the Detroit News that 60,000 was a "max rate" of production.

That number likely reflects constraints on the supply of lithium-ion cells for the Volt's battery pack, along with other electric components, including the 111-kilowatt traction motor, the smaller 55-kW motor-generator, and the car's power electronics.

Reporters from all over North America have been driving the 2011 Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car this week, and it has received generally strong reviews.

And, thankfully, a media firestorm that erupted over whether the Voltec electric drive may operate like a hybrid--yes, under certain limited circumstances--has died down. The shrill tone of the debate, however, is a cautionary reminder that a surprisingly large number of people still really hate General Motors.

[Detroit News]

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Comments (4)
  1. Just as a point of reference, Toyota sells 150,000 Prius in the USA per year. So 45,000 vehicles per year is 1/3rd of that.
    Have to laugh though. When Honda came out with the 2010 Insight, they thought they would sell 100,000 per year. At this point, they only have sold 20,000 vehicle per year in the US market despite it being $3000 cheaper.
    So Voelcker is on record saying that all these EV sellers with sell every unit for the first couple of years. Anyone else want to guess? If not, there are plenty of Honda Insights available for sale.
     
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  2. "Voltec electric drive may operate like a hybrid--yes, under certain limited circumstances-"
    In limited circumstance? Are you kidding? After the first 40 all electric miles, the Volt acts exactly like a Prius hybrid. In fact, it is clearly a hybrid. Some torque from the electric motor, some torque from the ICE. It operates as a blended mode hybrid above 30 MPH.
    However, that is a great thing and exactly what it should do.
     
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  3. Oh, and while we are predicting... Will sales of the Nissan LEAF and the Chevy Volt reduce Prius sales? or are these additional buyers.
     
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  4. From what I have read the torque is only added from the ICE at high speeds. At the lower speeds after the battery gets low the ICE just adds juice to the battery which still provides the energy to the electric motor.
    The electric motor is operating at all speeds and conditions in the Volt. This far different than in a Prius where the ICE takes over for the electric engine totally after around 20mph.
    ---------------
    "Voltec electric drive may operate like a hybrid--yes, under certain limited circumstances-"
    In limited circumstance? Are you kidding? After the first 40 all electric miles, the Volt acts exactly like a Prius hybrid. In fact, it is clearly a hybrid. Some torque from the electric motor, some torque from the ICE. It operates as a blended mode hybrid above 30 MPH.
    However, that is a great thing and exactly what it should do.
     
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