Gasoline prices are soaring, but the sales of electric cars are plummeting.
The Detroit Free Press reported that General Motors has temporarily laid off 1,300 employees for five weeks due to an idling in production of the Chevy Volt. The slowdown would take place from March 19 to April 23.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, GM projected sales of 10,000 Volts in 2011 and 60,000 in 2012. When they began producing the model. Instead, they only sold 7,671 in 2011 and 1,626 so far this year.
Chevrolet.com says that the Volt has two sources of energy. The battery lets people drive without using gasoline for an EPA–estimated 35 miles. Also, a gas generator produces electricity so you can gain up to 375 additional miles on a full tank of gas.
Last year the government investigated two Volt batteries that caught fire after crash tests. The Free Press reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found the Volt to be safe, and GM agreed to improve the car’s structure and battery-coolant system.
Unfortunately, what the electric car saves consumers in gas mileage it loses in sticker price. The Chevy site lists Volt prices as beginning at $31,645, and going over $41,000.
The Volt’s standard 120V charging kit plugs into conventional electrical outlets and fully charges a battery in around 10 hours, depending on the weather. The 240V charging station cuts that charging time down to around four hours.
Mother Nature Network reports that EPA fuel efficiency ratings for the Volt are 40 mpg on the highway and 35 mpg in the city. But shorter trips using all electric increases that rating to 94 MPG.