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GM to increase Chevy Bolt EV production

by Drew Johnson

GM is upping Bolt production to keep pace with global demand.

General Motors has announced plans to increase production of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle in order to meet growing demand. GM CEO Mary Barra made the announcement during a speech at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston on Wednesday.

Chevrolet sold 23,297 units of the Bolt EV in 2017, which was the plug-in's first full-year of sales. The company is on pace to shatter that sales mark in 2018, with Bolt sales up 23 percent to 2,601 through the first two months of the year.

"We are encouraged by this momentum, and because of increasing global demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, we are announcing today that we will increase Bolt EV production later this year at our Orion Assembly plant north of Detroit,” Barra said.

Barra did not reveal how many more Bolts the company planned to produce this year, or if the production bump would require any additional manpower.

During her speech Barra also reaffirmed GM's goal of a zero-emissions future. The CEO said GM will introduce at least 20 new all-electric models by 2023. Currently, the Bolt is the only pure electric GM sells on these shores.

In order to support the transition from fossil fueled-vehicle to electrics, Barra urged the federal government to extend current tax credits that make battery-powered vehicles more affordable. Under the current rules, EV buyers are eligible to receive up to a $7,500 tax credit, but those credits are set to expire in the not too distant future.