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GM Looking to Cut Volt Production Costs

But a lower-priced Chevy battery car not on the horizon - yet - maker cautions.

by on Feb.02, 2011

Congress is looking at expanding the current $7,500 tax credit for advanced propulsion vehicles, like the Chevy Volt.

Even the latest news about Egypt got bumped to the back page as a “historic” blizzard bore down on the Eastern half of the U.S. yesterday, but one story made it through in many outlets: an equally breathless report that General Motors was developing a lower-cost version of the Chevrolet Volt.

The 4-seat plug-in hybrid has generated plenty of its own headlines, in recent months, capturing a series of kudos, including the much-sought honor of being named North American Car of the Year.  Still, at a base price of $41,000, the Chevy Volt is playing in rarified luxury car territory, rather than in the mainstream, like the similar, if conventionally-powered Chevrolet Cruze.  So, the idea of getting a significantly cheaper battery car would understandably make the evening news.

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Problem is, no such lower-priced version of the Volt is in the works, GM officials stressed to – even though they admit to aggressively trying to trim production costs.  And, eventually, the underlying technology could be shared with lower-priced model – with the emphasis on longer-term.

“We’re not recreating the Volt,” assured Rob Peterson, spokesman for GM’s electrification program.  “There’s no separate development process underway to develop a lower-cost Volt (though) there s an effort to reduce costs in time for the second-generation Volt.”