In a move bound to raise howls of protest from the Chevy Volt's cheerleaders, GM (along with nine other manufacturers) has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to lower the 4.5 percent annual increases in the CAFE standards projected between 2011 and 2015. To justify the request, GM stated they won't have enough Volts and Vue plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) on the road by 2015 to meet the more stringent standards. GM "strongly discouraged" any assumptions that their PHEVs would impact their corporate fleet average. Their NHTSA filing flatly stated "GM's game-changing (extended range electric vehicle) technology should be treated as a low-volume application." (Only GM could use "game changing" and "low volume" in the same sentence.) How low is "low volume"? The Detroit News reports GM plans to build fewer than 200k Volts in the first five years (40k per year average). To make matters worse– for the U.S. PHEV crowd– GM says many of those will be exported. Of course, this all assumes GM will start producing Volt and PHEV Vues in late 2010 as promised. So now, it's put up or shut time. The sad thing is that GM will do neither.
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