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Economy & Business

GM Will End Production Of Its 'Car Of The Future': Chevy Volt


General Motors says it is ending production at several plants in the United States and Canada. And that includes the plant that turns out the Chevy Volt, GM's plug-in hybrid sedan. But as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, GM says it remains committed to electric vehicles.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: The Chevy Volt was launched in 2010 at the height of the Great Recession. It was marketed in commercials as a car of the future.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: With my Volt, I feel like I'm driving a nice, good-looking sports car. That first drive was like an epiphany, like, oh, my gosh.

ZARROLI: The Volt is an electric car, but it has a backup combustion engine for longer journeys. In the years since its introduction, the Volt has had its fans, though it never became really popular, says Jeremy Acevedo, an analyst at Edmunds.

JEREMY ACEVEDO: It hasn't really broken any sales records. But, you know, it's kind of been a steady sales - a steady seller for GM for what it is.

ZARROLI: Now GM is ending U.S. production of the Volt. Its day appears to have passed. Car batteries have become less expensive, and the number of charging stations has grown. So GM has decided to quit making hybrids and focus on electric cars. Here is GM CEO Mary Barra in a CNBC interview earlier this year.


MARY BARRA: We see an all-electric future. So, you know, we have the Volt that does have both. But going forward, we see pure electric vehicles.

ZARROLI: GM may be giving up on the Volt. But it isn't abandoning electric vehicles. It's putting a lot of money into them, says Jeremy Acevedo.

ACEVEDO: I think that their research and development portfolio does prove that they're really committing to this technology, not just here in the U.S. but also abroad where they have a lot more traction.

ZARROLI: While the U.S. is phasing out tax credits for electric vehicles, countries such as China and India continue to offer them. Those countries are among GM's biggest and fastest-growing markets right now. And if GM is to compete, it has to offer the kinds of cars people in those places want to drive. Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF AMBINATE'S "STORM WATCH") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.