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GM's electric hybrid punt


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General Motors says it’s investing $US449 million ($A485.96 million) in two Detroit-area factories to build the next generation Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric car.

GM says it will invest $384 million at the assembly plant and another $65 million in a battery pack plant in nearby Brownstown Township.

The company didn’t release any details on the next generation Volt.

The current version can go about 60 kilometres on battery power before a small gasoline generator kicks in.

“General Motors is committed to building award-winning products and developing technologies in America, which helps to grow our economy from a resurgent auto industry,” Gerald Johnson, GM’s vice president of North America manufacturing said in a statement.

“These investments will help the next-generation Chevrolet Volt build on its position as the leader in electrified propulsion.”

While the Volt is central to GM’s efforts to have about 500,000 vehicles on the road by 2017 with some form of electrification, the consumer response to hybrid electrics hasn’t been huge.

GM had sold 3,606 Volts in the U.S. so far this calendar year, 15 percent fewer than the same period last year, according to Autodata Corp.

Two years ago Dan Akerson, GM’s former chief executive officer, forecast Volt sales of 60,000 in 2012, before settling for half that number.

Last year, GM sold 23,094.

GM said last year it will improve the electric-only range of the car by at least 20 percent in the next version of the Volt.

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