Chevy Volt to increase production 50%; Nissan Leaf rollout dates announced


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Counting on an eager -- and large -- fan base for the Chevrolet Volt, General Motors Co. announced Friday that it planned to boost U.S. production of the electric car by 50%.

As President Obama toured the company’s plant in Hamtramck, Mich., GM said it planned to increase Volt production from 30,000 units to 45,000 in 2012.


The long-awaited vehicle will be released in seven states -- up from three -- in December and will cost $41,000 before tax credits, the company said this week.

Nissan, meanwhile, announced its rollout schedule for its own electric car, the $32,780 Leaf. The vehicle will be available in December in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Tennessee. Customers there, who make up more then 55% of the reservations so far for the Leaf, can start placing firm orders in August.

The car will show up in Texas and Hawaii in January. In April, customers in North Carolina; Florida; Georgia; Washington, D.C.; Virginia; Maryland; South Carolina; and Alabama can start buying. The rest of the nation will have to wait until fall 2011.

-- Tiffany Hsu